Dylan Axelrod shut down the Orioles offense as the rookie went 7 1/3 innings while only giving up one run as the White Sox cruised to victory. Axelrod overcame a shaky second by getting Omar Quintanilla to ground out with two men on to end the frame. In the third, he struck out Adam Jones with two men on to keep the Orioles scoreless. The only damage done against Axelrod was in the fourth when Matt Wieters led off with a double. After Chris Davis was hit by a breaking ball, Mark Reynolds flew out moving Wieters to third and he would score on a sac fly by Quintanilla.
That Davis HBP was the last runner Axelrod allowed until a J.J. Hardy walk with one out in the eighth, which snapped a streak of 13 men in a row knocked down. Donnie Veal came on and retired all four batters he faced and Nate Jones was called upon to get Reynolds for the last out, which he did.
The offense gave Axelrod a nice lead before he ever took the mound. DeWayne Wise led off with a single. After Kevin Youkilis hit a smash which Jones caught at the wall, Adam Dunn walked. Paul Konerko hit an infield single that grazed off of Hardy's glove to load the bases. Alex Rios then smashed a Joe Saunders fastball into right center field for a two run double. After a Dayan Viciedo pop up, Alexei Ramirez hit a ducksnort just in front of Nick Markakis to bring home Konerko and Rios to give the Sox a 4-0 lead and ruin Saunders debut in an Orioles uniform.
Ramirez hit a one out single in the fourth, which brought up Tyler Flowers who hit a pop up above the catcher. Wieters tripped over his helmet and missed the easy catch, which gave Flowers another chance. He ended up hitting a swinging bunt to push Ramirez to second with two outs. Gordon Beckham made the O's pay as he smoked a ball off of the left field wall to score Alexei.
The Sox would tack on two more in the 6th. Viciedo and Ramirez lead off the frame with singles. Flowers bunted them into scoring position, and Beckham hit a liner over the drawn in infield to make it a 7-1 game. In the 7th, Viciedo singled home Dunn who had walked to cap the scoring.
* Ramirez and Beckham both went 3-4. Alexei scored two and drove in two. Gordon knocked home three.
* The Sox put up 8 runs without going deep.
* Axelrod must love the east coast as he has now pitched well at New York, Boston and Baltimore.
* Don't forget tomorrow is an 11:30 AM start on WGN as Jose Quintana squares off against Zach Britton.
10:20 Update: Axelrod was sent down to Double-A after the game to make room for Jose Lopez, according to Dan Hayes.
Record: 72-57 | Box