After an unexpected night off because of an inclement weather forecast, the Orioles returned for the final three games before the All-Star break. They proved no match for the American League Central Division leaders, the Chicago White Sox, who won, 12-1, before 12,077 at Oriole Park on Friday night.
The Orioles (28-59) were in the midst of their 14-game losing streak when they lost four straight to Chicago (52-35) over Memorial Day weekend.
The game was tight, with Chicago leading 2-1 heading into the sixth, when Cole Sulser and Dillon Tate combined for five walks and the White Sox scored four. Overall, the Orioles walked eight.
“Definitely affected the game, no doubt about it,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Not a recipe to win.”
Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets began the inning with walks against Sulser. With Tate pitching, Seby Zavala bunted Vaughn and Sheets to second and third. Tim Anderson, who had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, doubled to score Vaughn and Sheets.
Tate walked Yoán Moncada, José Abreu and Brian Goodwin to score Anderson, and Adam Engel’s sacrifice fly made it 6-1.
“I don’t know if fatigue is playing a factor in some of these guys,” Hyde said. “That would be understandable if it is.”
Ramón Urias homered in the bottom of the second, his fourth, against Dallas Keuchel.
Goodwin’s double in the top of the third scored Anderson, and the score was tied, 1-1.
Anthony Santander led off the bottom of the fourth by lining a ball off the top of the Pepsi sign in right-center. Santander slid into second but was told he homered. Upon review, the call was reversed, and he was placed back at second.
Urias and Pedro Severino grounded out, and Pat Valaika flied to left, stranding Santander.
Oriole starter Jórge Lopez began the fifth by allowing three straight singles to Anderson, Moncada and Abreu, and the White Sox led, 2-1. López (2-12) was relieved by Sulser.
López pitched four-plus innings, allowing two runs on eight runs, striking out four and walking one.
“I do the best I can when I’m reflecting on the first half,” López said. “When the starters get to the fifth, it feels like the game is over. It’s hard to [feel] that way.”
López leads the majors with 12 losses.
“I’ve got to keep working and get better … I’ll take these four days and take a rest.”
Sheets, the Lutherville native and Gilman graduate who’s the son of former Oriole Larry Sheets, homered off César Valdez in the seventh. It was the first major league game Sheets played in Baltimore.
Abreu added a two-run double for the eighth and ninth Chicago runs.
Engel hit a three-run homer against Shaun Anderson, who was making his first appearance for the Orioles, in the ninth to give the White Sox their final runs. Anderson is the 47th player used by the Orioles this season. Pat Valaika moved over from second base to get the final out in the ninth. It was the second time he pitched this year.
Keuchel allowed a run on seven hits in seven innings.
Notes: The Orioles have canceled their July 24 postgame concert with Diplo. … Thomas Eshelman (0-1, 7.16 ERA) will face Lucas Giolito (6-6, 4.20). on Saturday Game time is 4:05 p.m., and it’s Hawaiian shirt day. … Hyde said he hasn’t decided on his post All-Star Game break starting rotation. Matt Harvey will not start in either of the first two games in Kansas City. … Dr. Nilofer Azad, who was Trey Mancini’s oncologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, threw out the first pitch.
Means’ 2nd rehab start: John Means allowed four runs, two unearned, on five hits in three innings at Bowie. Means threw 61 pitches, struck out three and walked none and allowed two home run in the Baysox’s 6-0 loss to Richmond in the first game of a doubleheader.
Adley Rutschman’s tie-breaking home run in the fifth inning gave Bowie a 3-2 win in the second game.
Mike Baumann (1-2) pitched five innings, allowing two runs on four hits, striking out five.
Third baseman Tyler Nevin had three hits and leftfielder Stevie Wilkerson homered as Triple-A Norfolk beat Durham, 9-4.
Kyle Bradish (2-2) allowed four runs on six hits in five innings. Konner Wade pitched three scoreless innings in relief, allowing one hit.
Gunnar Henderson homered twice and drove in three as High-A Aberdeen beat Greenville, 6-5.
Henderson, who played shortstop, boosted his average to .188
Shane Davis allowed nine runs on nine hits in just 1 2/3 innings as Delmarva lost to Salem, 9-3, in the first game of a doubleheader.
The Shorebirds lost the second game, 11-2. First baseman TT Bowens, the reigning Low-A East Player of the Week, homered in both games. He has nine this season.
Where do draft picks start? The draft is five weeks later than in years past, and Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias knows there will be an adjustment in his timeline.
“It’s going to be a little strange, and not only because it’s later,” Elias said. “There’s no New York/Penn League. There’s no Appalachian League. We’re going to now make a decision to put players in what’s now called the Florida Complex League; it used to be called the Gulf Coast League, or put them in Delmarva to get that first summer of experience.
“Obviously, if you take a college hitter or something with one of the first couple of picks, it’s more likely they’ll go to Delmarva at some point. They’ll probably start in Florida just to get their feet wet. We’ll try to get them up there, but then if it’s a high school kid, it might be more of a Complex League-based program.
“It’s going to be strange, both in terms of timing and not having the short-season level. We’ll see how we end up playing it.”