Through 17 of this game's 54 scheduled outs, the White Sox had the makings of a series split. They strung together hits off Zach Britton in the second for a 1-0 lead (and it should've been two, but A.J. Pierzynski was thrown out at the plate), and Jose Quintana retired the first eight Orioles he faced.
Then a bunch of Batman sounds befell Quintana and changed the course of the day:
WHAM! An opposite-field solo home run by Taylor Teagarden, his second of the year.
POW! Nick Markakis went the other way to left for a double.
SOCK! J.J. Hardy pulled a double down the line for 2-1 Baltimore lead.
KABLOOIE! Adam Jones resumed the opposite-field programming with a two-run shot.
BORT! Mark Reynolds hit a double off the very top of the wall in left -- or, more accurately, off some fans hands off the top of the wall in left. It withstood a replay challenge.
Quintana stranded Reynolds to end the inning, but Robin Ventura pulled him after more two-out trouble in the fourth, this time in the form of a Teagarden RBI double and a walk to Markakis.
And then it was Britton's time to make a run at perfection.
Britton's actual perfect game bid went by the wayside in the first, as Jose Lopez introduced himself to White Sox fans with a ground-rule double. The Sox dinged him for four more hits in the fourth, but it only resulted in one run. Pierzynski got a bad read on a single to center, which probably made it a bad decision by Joe McEwing to send him home. Jones made a good throw, and Pierzynski made it easy for Teagarden to tag him by not sliding.
After minimizing the damage in the second, he was nearly flawless. He retired 19 of the last 21 he faced, and struck out a career-high 10 batters. Lefties had big problems with him -- Dewayne Wise, Adam Dunn and A.J. Pierzynski went 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts combined.
Britton probably could have completed the game, because his day ended after 104 pitches. But Buck Showalter went to the bullpen, and the Sox offense rediscovered some fight. Ramirez (who went 3-for-4) delivered a two-run single off Jim Johnson with two outs in the ninth to cut the lead to 5-3. It also brought the tying run to the plate, but Gordon Beckham turned into strikeout victim No. 11. And so out of 54 scheduled outs, only 51 were necessar5y.
- Lopez went 2-for-4 with two strikeouts in his White Sox debut. Hector Gimenez (on the roster for Tyler Flowers, who is on paternity leave) entered the game as a defensive replacement for Pierzynski in the seventh, and singled and scored in the ninth.
- Though he ended the day with a strikeout, Beckham delivered an RBI single and two defensive highlights -- one ranging far to his left on a nubber off the end of the bat, and brilliant turn on a 1-6-3 double play started by Nate Jones.
- Nate Jones (2 1/3 innings), Hector Santiago (one) and Donnie Veal (one) combined to strike out seven batters while allowing only two baserunners.