Orioles waste chances and lose lead (Davis walk-off three-run HR)

Through five innings tonight, the Orioles are 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and have stranded nine.

They’ve squandered numerous chances against White Sox left-hander Chris Sale, who’s allowed a season-high 10 hits in five innings but only two runs.

He’s no longer behind in this game.

White Sox rookie Jose Abreu homered off left-hander Wei-Yin Chen leading off the top of the sixth to tie the game 2-2, and doubles by Dayan Viciedo and Conor Gillaspie gave Chicago the lead.

Nelson Cruz almost made a diving catch near the left field line to rob Gillaspie and end the inning, but he couldn’t secure the ball.

Ryan Webb replaced Chen, who allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, with two walks, three strikeouts and a home run. He threw 98 pitches, 68 for strikes.

Eight of the 12 home runs allowed by Chen this season have been to the leadoff hitter in an inning. All 12 have come against right-handed batters. Ten are solo shots.

The Orioles shouldn’t have let the game stay this close.

They stranded Delmon Young in the first after his two-out single. They wasted Caleb Joseph’s ground rule double in the second, and back-to-back singles by Adam Jones and Cruz in the third - with Young and J.J. Hardy striking out.

Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop opened the fourth with singles, and Nick Markakis was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Steve Pearce flied to shallow right and Jones struck out. End of rally.

Cruz, Young and Hardy singled to load the bases with no outs in the sixth. Time to break it open, except Machado grounded into a force at home on Sale’s second pitch and Schoop grounded into a 4-6-3 double play on the next offering.

The Orioles won’t get their 11th quality start in 14 games. What they really need now is a clutch hit. Too many wasted chances. Too many runners unable to cross the plate, which already has come back to bite them.

Tonight’s attendance: 17,931. The season total in 33 dates is 1,013,165.

Update: Sale allowed two runs and 11 hits in six innings. He threw 107 pitches.

The White Sox increased their lead to 4-2 in the seventh on Abreu’s two-out double off Webb, who’s now allowed two runs in his last 13 appearances.

Update II: Caleb Joseph homered for the second time in two games, his solo shot reducing Chicago’s lead to 4-3 in the eighth.

Joseph has his first career three-hit game.

Update III: Chris Davis hit a three-run pinch-hit walk-off home run off White Sox reliever Ronald Belisario to give the Orioles a 6-4 win.

It’s the Orioles’ first pinch-hit walk-off home run since Larry Sheets on Aug. 24, 1988 versus Seattle.

Steve Pearce led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and Jones was hit by a pitch. Cruz struck out, bringing Chris Davis to the plate as a pinch-hitter for Young.

Young had three hits tonight. Davis had four in his last 36 at-bats. So, of course, he homers to right field with the count full.

The Orioles remain 1 1/2 games behind Toronto in the American League East. They’re five games above .500 for the first time since May 11.

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