The atrocious Yankees series is finally behind them, but the disappointing pitching and injury bug continued to linger into the Orioles’ series against the White Sox. The offense continued to face uphill battles and only managed to come back from one of the major deficits.
The series started on Monday as Wade Miley took the mound and proceeded to do his best Chris Tillman impression, giving up six runs on six hits in just 2.1 innings. Unlike the games against New York, the offense was able to put up a surplus of runs but it wasn’t enough to bail out the pitching. The Orioles scored seven runs but the bullpen was still too overworked and incompetent to hold a struggling White Sox team down.
Ubaldo Jimenez gave up three runs in his 3+ innings of relief and Miguel Castro added another run, giving the White Sox a 10-7 victory. Chris Davis was forced to exit Monday’s game with a right oblique strain. After sitting out on Tuesday, Davis was placed on the 10-day DL.
Tuesday’s game didn’t go any better. Alec Asher was able to pitch through the fifth inning, but he also gave up six runs along the way. Richard Bleier and Jimmy Yacabonis combined to pitch three innings of scoreless relief but the damage had already been done.
A grand slam by Matt Davidson in the sixth inning blew Chicago’s lead wide open. The O’s offense was shut down through the final eight innings after getting on the board in the first with an RBI single from Manny Machado. The White Sox never looked back after the grand slam and picked up a 6-1 win.
Wednesday’s game was delayed for about an hour and a half prior to the first pitch due to rain. Perhaps a cancelled game would have done the Orioles a favor considering how overworked the bullpen has been in the past few weeks. The game was able to begin around 9:40 pm and it started as bad as you would expect.
The White Sox had a 5-1 lead by the second inning and the frustration was setting in once again. Dylan Bundy was able to battle through five innings despite giving up the surplus of runs early on.
The Orioles comeback effort started in the fourth when Welington Castillo picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice. Hyun Soo Kim kept things going, batting in two runs later in the fourth, bringing the O’s to within one run of Chicago.
In the fifth inning, Castillo came through once again. This time he did a lot more than ground into a fielder’s choice. With Mark Trumbo, Trey Mancini, and Jonathan Schoop on base, Castillo launched the first grand slam of his career and gave the Orioles a 8-5 lead.
The Birds added two more runs in the sixth inning while the bullpen performed surprisingly well, giving up just one run in the final four innings. Needless to say, this 10-6 win was huge for a team that has looked completely lost and uninspired for the past week.
With Wednesday’s game being delayed, Thursday afternoon’s series finale was played on short rest. Chris Tillman was on the mound for the Orioles and, to many fans surprise, turned in the best start of the past week. The struggling veteran made his way through 5.1 innings while giving up three runs.
Tillman finished the fifth with a pitch count of 100 and had only given up one run at the time. Buck Showalter allowed him to come out for the sixth, but that was likely too high of an order for a pitcher trying to get his season back on track.
Jimmy Yacabonis took over and quickly gave up two runs that would end up being attributed to Tillman in the box score. Miguel Castro pitched the final 2.1 innings and did not allow the White Sox to score again.
Down 5-1 in the ninth, the Orioles managed to score one run on a Castillo solo home run but fell way short of a comeback. The 5-2 win capped off an impressive series for the White Sox as they took advantage of a struggling Orioles team.
The Birds will return home to host the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend. There is no denying that the Orioles are much better at Camden Yards, so this home stand could be exactly what the O’s need to rebound.