CHICAGO—On a weekend when the South Side fans booed the White Sox and chanted for manager Tony La Russa’s dismissal, the Orioles were happy to be the reason for that displeasure.
Jorge Mateo scored three runs and homered, and Austin Hays hit a three-run double as the Orioles beat Chicago, 6-2, before an announced crowd of 29,282 at Guaranteed Rate Field on Saturday.
It was the Orioles’ fourth straight win and their third in a row against the White Sox. It’s their first four-game winning streak since September 4th-8th, 2020. At 34-39, they’re five games under .500 for the first time since May 13th. They’ll try for a four-game sweep on Sunday.
“We come to the field every day, and we think we’re a really good team,” Trey Mancini said. “We don’t think about the rebuild or what expectations were for us before the year. We come to the ballpark and expect to play well and expect to win.”
Mancini hasn’t been a part of a team that was at .500 after early April since September 9th, 2017 when the Orioles were 71-71. He said reaching the break-even point would be significant.
“Yeah, I think so with how the last however many years have gone for us,” Mancini said. “It’s been a while since we’ve really been close to .500, not that that’s the goal or even sort of ultimate goal by any means, but it’s definitely nice to be there. But again, it’s nothing we’re thinking about.
“We’re still a few games under, and we’re going to go out there tomorrow and going to try to win another game and not really think about anything beyond that.”
The Orioles had a 2-1 lead heading into the seventh. Lance Lynn (1-1) hit Robinson Chirinos with a pitch and, with two outs, Mateo, who earlier hit his fifth home run and doubled, walked. Cedric Mullins’ roller went for an infield hit, and Lynn hit Mancini on the left hand with a pitch to score Chirinos.
Mancini missed time when Toronto’s Alek Manoah hit him in the right hand with a pitch on June 13th. After the game, Mancini, his hand wrapped, said he wasn’t worried.
“It’s OK. It’s definitely better than the one from Toronto,” he said. “I’m not too concerned about it all. I’ve been getting hit a decent amount this year, but it’s the last thing he’s trying to do in that situation is hit me. But it got away from him on an inside pitch. I think that’s why I’ve been hit a lot this year is guys are trying to come inside and it gets away from them.”
Hays followed with a three-run double against José Ruiz, and the Orioles were ahead, 6-1.
“Unfortunate, but at least got us a run and got Haysy up there for a big hit,” Mancini said.
Spenser Watkins (1-1), who was called up from Norfolk before the game, allowed just an unearned run on five hits.
“We got everything we were hoping for from Spenser today,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
Watkins was hit on the right elbow by a liner by Tampa Bay’s Ji-Man Choi on May 22nd. After a trip to the 15-day injured list, he went to Norfolk and now is back.
“Extremely pleased,” Watkins said. “Very pleased to give the team the chance to win, especially the momentum they’ve already carried into this series, and so far in this series. To be able to join and be able to give them a chance to win is great.”
Bryan Baker, Nick Vespi and Dillon Tate allowed one run in four innings.
Tate hit Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger to begin the ninth, and Sheets scored on Reese McGuire’s infield out.
After Lynn retired the first eight batters, Mateo hit a home run to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
Chicago tied it in the bottom of the third when Lenyn Sosa reached on an error by third baseman Tyler Nevin and scored after a relay throw from rightfielder Hays wasn’t caught by Mateo.
The Orioles took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Mateo doubled and scored when Mullins’ grounder was booted by shortstop Leury Garcia.
Notes: The game was delayed by 1 hour, 21 minutes at the start. The Orioles have had seven hours, 21 minutes of delays this season. … Leftfielder Ryan McKenna struck out four times. … Jonathan Araúz became the 49th player used by the Orioles this season. He was hitless in four at-bats in his first game with the team. … Jordan Lyles (4-6, 4.92) will face Dylan Cease (5-3, 2.68) on Sunday. … Tyler Wells, Dean Kremer and Austin Voth will start the three games in Seattle beginning on Monday.