Every now and then, the Orioles don’t have to wait until the very last at-bat, or the very last pitch to know they’ve won the game. Tuesday night was such a game, as the birds built a quick lead on White Sox ace lefty Chris Sale (L, 15-5), kept scattering runs, and left the rest up to Chris Tillman (W, 7-2).
Nick Markakis’ clutch, two-out, three-run double in the second would be all the O’s needed offensively, but not all they’d get. Lew Ford hit a solo home run for the second straight night in the fourth, picking on a two-out, 1-0 fastball below the knees, and lining it into the left field seats. Manny Machado drove in Mark Reynolds with a sac fly in the sixth, making it 5-0. And in the seventh, Adam Jones snapped a career-high, 110 at-bat homerless streak. Jones picked on Sox reliever Philip Humber’s eighth pitch of the at-bat, and drove it just over the scoreboard in right for his 25th home run of the year, and 100th of his career.
As plentiful as the offense was, the true story was Tillman. He didn’t give up his first hit until Dayan Viciedo led off the fifth with an infield hit. He walked the next batter, for his fourth walk of the night. But then, he rediscovered his grove, setting down the trio of Gordon Beckham, Dewayne Wise, and Kevin Youkilis. Then, he retired six more in a row, before turning things over to Brian Matusz , for two scoreless relief innings.
Having taken the first two games of this very big, four-game series, The Orioles roll out their latest import Wednesday. Joe Saunders, acquired from Arizona over the weekend, will make his O’s debut at Camden Yards against Chicago. Game time is 7:05.
- Tillman’s line: 7IP, 0R, 1H, 4BB, 5K.
- Matusz: 2IP, 0R, 1H, 0BB, 2K. 24 pitches for Matusz, 19 of which were strikes.
- Numbers 7,8,9 in the order (McLouth, Machado, Andino) combined: 5/9, 3R, 2BB, 1RBI, 2SB.
- Only 12,841 at Camden Yards after about 10,000 Monday night. School being back in session in most places doesn’t help, but…