Roberts 1st homer of season gives surging Orioles 3-2 win over White Sox in 10 innings
BALTIMORE – Brian Roberts hit his first home run of the season leading off the 10th inning, and the Baltimore Orioles continued their uncanny run of success under new manager Buck Showalter with a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.
Baltimore is 6-1 since Showalter made his debut last Tuesday. Earl Weaver is the only other manager in the history of the Orioles to win six of his first seven games.
After sweeping three games from the Los Angeles Angels, the last-place Orioles took three of four from Chicago, giving them successive series wins for the first time since July 2009. The homestand was Baltimore's best since it went 7-0 against Seattle and Texas from Aug. 3-9, 2004.
Roberts' drive came on the second pitch from J.J. Putz (5-3). Roberts, a two-time All-Star, missed much of the season with a bad back before returning from the 60-day disabled list on July 23.
Matt Albers (4-3), who worked out of a jam in the top of the 10th, got the win.
Paul Konerko hit a ninth-inning homer for the White Sox, who fell into a first-place tie with Minnesota in the AL Central. The White Sox and Twins open a three-game series in Chicago on Tuesday night.
Konerko, who earlier made a costly mental mistake in the field, hit the first pitch from closer Alfredo Simon into the left-field seats to tie it at 2. Chicago eventually got the potential tiebreaking run to second base with one out before Mike Gonzalez retired the side.
Konerko's 28th homer was a redemptive shot, because his mental lapse in the sixth helped Baltimore take a 2-1 lead.
Down 1-0, the Orioles took advantage of two White Sox mistakes to score twice against starter Edwin Jackson.
After Ty Wigginton homered, Luke Scott singled and advanced when third baseman Dayan Viciedo botched a grounder. A single by Felix Pie loaded the bases for Matt Wieters, who hit a hard grounder to Konerko at first. Instead of trying to double up the slow-footed Wieters, Konerko tagged first and threw home too late to get the sliding Scott.
Orioles rookie Brian Matusz allowed one run and three hits in six innings. Since Showalter took over, Baltimore starters have pitched at least six innings in seven straight games and have registered a 1.89 ERA.
Koji Uehara worked two perfect innings, setting the stage for Simon's fourth blown save in 21 tries.
The White Sox went up 1-0 in the third when Matusz hit Juan Pierre with a pitch on an 0-2 count and yielded a two-out RBI double to Alex Rios.
NOTES: Pierre extended his hitting streak to 16 games, tying a career-high. ... Seventeen of Wigginton's 18 homers have come against RHPs. ... Konerko's 28 homers matches his total from last year. ... The Orioles are 1-8 on Mondays this season.