White Sox beat Orioles 4-2 to end 5-game skid
BALTIMORE (AP) The Chicago White Sox rarely breeze to an easy victory, and this was no exception.
Although the White Sox experienced a few anxious moments in the ninth inning Tuesday night, that didn't make their 4-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles any less satisfying.
''When you have the opportunity, you have to win those games,'' left fielder Alejandro De Aza said. ''We have to enjoy it because it doesn't happen very often.''
Jose Quintana allowed one run in seven innings and Gordon Beckham homered to help Chicago end a five-game losing streak. Alexei Ramirez had two hits and scored twice for the last-place White Sox, who had lost nine of 11 overall and eight straight on the road.
''It's nice to get a win,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ''Offensively, we had a good game, knocking in some runs. We had a chance there to blow it open, and didn't do it.''
As usual, the White Sox kept it close. During their five straight defeats, they were outscored by a combined seven runs.
Quintana (4-7) gave up six hits - including a solo homer by Steve Pearce - struck out eight and walked three. The left-hander was 0-3 in four starts since May 26.
One night after blowing a ninth-inning lead in the series opener, White Sox closer Ronald Belisario entered in the ninth with no outs and a runner on first. He allowed a pinch-hit RBI single to Delmon Young before getting pinch-hitter Ryan Flaherty to bounce into a double play - Chicago's fourth of the game.
''I'd say, after the last five days, we probably need that,'' Ventura said. ''It was a good effort by `Q' to get us in a spot where we could win, and we did enough to win.''
Belisario's eighth save sealed a much-needed victory for the White Sox, who had dropped a season-high seven games under .500.
After crediting his teammates for their solid defensive play behind him, Quintana said, ''I want to win this game for them, to stop five straight with no wins for the team.''
Miguel Gonzalez (4-5) yielded three runs and a career-high tying nine hits in five innings for Baltimore. It was his second start since returning from a 17-day stint on the disabled list with a strained right oblique, and like the last one, he failed to get into the sixth inning.
''Bent but didn't break. Kept us engaged in the game. Gave us some chances,'' manager Buck Showalter said. ''His command was off from what we've come to expect. He fought his way through five innings.''
Two batters into the game, Gonzalez and the Orioles fell behind for good when Beckham drove a fastball into the seats in left field for his seventh home run.
Chicago added a run in the second when Ramirez doubled and scored on a single by De Aza. The inning ended with a poorly executed double steal in which De Aza was nailed at the plate after getting a late start from third base.
Three straight two-out singles, the last by Tyler Flowers, made it 3-0 in the fourth.
The White Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth before Ramirez hit a popup and Dayan Viciedo bounced into a double play.
After Pearce homered leading off the sixth, Adam Jones doubled. But Quintana struck out Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis before retiring J.J. Hardy on a fly to right.
Nick Markakis, who went 0 for 4 against Quintana with two strikeouts, said of the lefty: ''He's a guy that short arms the ball and the ball jumps out of his hand. It is tough to get in a rhythm when you don't see the ball behind his back and he short arms it with good velocity.''
Chicago got an unearned run in the eighth. Ramirez singled, stole second, advanced on a passed ball and deftly avoided the tag at the plate on a grounder by De Aza.
NOTES: Orioles 3B Manny Machado will have a hearing Wednesday on his appeal of a five-game suspension for intentionally throwing a bat on the field. ... Ventura says RHP Scott Carroll will start Thursday in Toronto. He replaces Andre Rienzo, who has been relegated to the bullpen after losing five straight starts and yielding 17 runs in his last three outings. ... Baltimore RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, 0-6 with a 6.38 ERA at home, takes the mound Wednesday in the series finale against Chicago RHP Hector Noesi. ... Chicago's Adam Eaton walked twice and singled. He has reached base in 19 straight games and has an 11-game hitting streak.