Nate McLouth's two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the Baltimore Orioles to a 4-3 triumph over the Chicago White Sox in the opener of a four-game set at Camden Yards.
With runners on the corners and no outs in the top of the eighth, Adam Dunn ripped a grounder to second baseman Robert Andino, but Baltimore first baseman Mark Reynolds couldn't get to the bag in time to nab Dunn, and DeWayne Wise scored from third.
Baltimore answered in the home half, as Reynolds made up for his defensive blunder and worked a one-out walk before McLouth cracked his homer over the right-field wall.
Lew Ford also homered for the Orioles, who are 24-6 in one run games this season.
"Winning close games down the stretch is huge," McLouth said.
Pedro Strop (5-2) earned the win despite giving up a run in the eighth and Jim Johnson stranded a runner in the ninth to earn his 40th save of the season.
Brett Myers (2-2) was pegged with the loss after giving up McLouth's go-ahead homer.
"It's a tough (loss), but we'll have to come back (Tuesday). That's the way it goes," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Ford sent a fly ball to deep right field that sailed over the fence just inside the foul pole in the second inning.
Later in the frame, the Orioles loaded the bases with just one out, but Nick Markakis lined into an inning-ending double-play.
Kevin Youkilis' two-run homer in the sixth put Chicago up 2-1. Wise reached on an error to open the inning before Youkilis smacked the first pitch he saw into the left field seats.
The Orioles had the bases loaded in the sixth, but were only able to get one run when McClouth drew a walk to plate Matt Wieters. Manny Machado followed with a sharp grounder to Youkilis at third, who fired it home, but catcher A.J. Pierzynski didn't even attempt a throw to first for a double-play, much to the dismay of reliever Jesse Crain.
After a verbal confrontation between the pitcher and catcher, Crain fanned Andino and was able to get Markakis to ground out to end the inning.
Wei-Yin Chen started for the O's and gave up two runs -- one earned -- on four hits and struck out eight over six strong innings ... The Orioles have won 13 consecutive one-run games ... Ford's last homer came July 29, 2007 ... With the New York Yankees' loss Monday the Orioles trail by just 3.5 games in the AL East ... Francisco Liriano started for the White Sox and gave up two runs on six hits and four walks and also struck out three over five-plus innings ... Chicago had a six-game winning streak snapped.