BALTIMORE—In the first six innings of Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox, the Orioles had one run on six hits. In the seventh, their bats finally came alive, and they scored eight runs in the seventh and eighth.
Anthony Santander drove in four runs in a 9-3 win over the White Sox before an announced crowd of 14,903 at Oriole Park on Tuesday night.
The Orioles (83-49) moved a season-high 34 games over .500 and maintained their 2 ½ game lead over second-place Tampa Bay in the American League East. The Rays beat Miami, 11-2.
Their 83 wins equal their win total from last season with 30 games remaining.
“We still have a whole month left and have already been able to get to where we were last year, which was a really big turnaround for us,” leftfielder Austin Hays said. “It’s a great accomplishment for us, but we know we’re not done with a lot of baseball left.”
Ryan McKenna singled and stole second with two outs against Aaron Bummer (4-3) in the seventh. Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson walked, and Santander shot a double over first base and down the right-field line to score the three runners for a 4-1 lead.
“It seems like the sixth, seventh inning rolls around and you get one key that gets on and gets something rolling,” Hays said. “Balls start falling. We’ll start stringing together hits, and almost all those hits are line drives right up the middle. It sticks to our approach, simple. Not everybody’s going up there trying to hit homers.”
Oriole relief pitcher Danny Coulombe (4-1) retired all five Chicago hitters he faced.
“Danny was that bridge to get five huge outs for us in a big spot,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Bullpen guy comes in and gets a zero. That’s definitely a momentum builder for the offense.”
Yennier Cano registered the final out of the eighth, an exceptional leaping catch by Hays into the left-field wall on Luis Robert Jr.’s drive. Shintaro Fujinami allowed two runs in the ninth.
Oriole starter Dean Kremer retired his first seven batters until Lenyn Sosa hit his fifth home run and left after allowing singles to Yoán Moncada and Andrew Vaughn to begin the seventh. He was replaced by Coulombe after Vaughn’s dribbler.
Kremer allowed one run on six hits in six-plus innings. .
In the fifth, Hays, Ramón Urías and Adam Frazier singled against White Sox starter Jesse Scholtens, and Hays scored to tie the score at 1.
The Orioles added five runs in the eighth on Cedric Mullins’ fielder’s choice, Ryan McKenna’s two-run double, Rutschman’s run-scoring single and Santander’s RBI single.
“Our offense definitely knows how to pile it on towards the end of the game and give our relievers a little break more of a break,” Kremer said.
Note: Kyle Gibson (13-7, 4.89) will face Dylan Cease (5-7, 4.87) on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m.
Minor league update: After hitting a two-run home run, his 14th, Kyle Stowers was hit in the face by a pitch and left the game in Triple-A Norfolk’s 8-6 win over Worcester.
Third baseman Coby Mayo his a two-run homer, his seventh, in the top of the ninth to break a 6-6 tie.
Shortstop Jackson Holliday had three hits in Double-A Bowie’s 7-5 loss to Akron. Bowie’s Max Wagner was hit in the head by an errant throw. Wagner left the game, and both Stowers and Wagner are being evaluated.
Centerfielder Elio Prado hit his fourth home run in High-A Aberdeen’s 3-2 loss to Jersey Shore.