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Orioles 4, White Sox 2: Early exit goes unseized

Line drives knock out Baltimore starter, but long reliever picks up slack

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Pound for pound, this might be the most frustrating White Sox game of the young season.

The White Sox had the edge in starters — Miguel Gonzalez threw 623 strong innings, while consecutive line drives to the body knocked out Wade Miley in the first.

They had the edge in hits, outhitting Baltimore 12-9.

Yet that combination didn’t yield a win, or even a lead.

Instead, the offense was stymied for six innings by Gabriel Ynoa, a replacement-level long reliever. Only one of their 12 hits went for extra bases, and that was a two-out double by Jose Abreu with nobody on. Reducing it further, several of their hits were of the infield variety, or bleeders barely through it. They could only score runs on groundouts, going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Moreover, the run prevention unit kicked the game further away just as the offense was starting to make baserunners a regular occurrence.

The White Sox had just cut the Baltimore lead in half with an Avisail Garcia groundout in the top of the eighth when the impact of Nate Jones’ injury became evident. Rick Renteria used three pitchers in the inning, and they were of decreasing credibility.

Anthony Swarzak, who retired the last batter in the seventh, picked up where he left off by getting Manny Machado to ground out. Then Dan Jennings came in to face Chris Davis, but he gave up a gork single over the shortstop position. He should’ve bounced back by getting Mark Trumbo to hit a hard grounder to the left side, but Cody Asche didn’t react in time to get his glove down far enough, and it rolled into left field for a single.

Renteria came out and lifted Jennings, which normally would be fine. I’m not sure Michael Ynoa should be the guy though. It started well enough, as he induced a popout from Jonathan Schoop for the second out. But then Joey Rickard doubled to left, and Tim Anderson committed an error on an in-between hop (Rickard may have screened him effectively) for a little more Oriole insurance.

The error stretched Baltimore’s lead to three, and so the Sox offense always felt at arm’s length, even though they put pressure on Brad Brach. Omar Narvaez reached on an infield single, and Leury Garcia hit a bleeder through the left side to bring the tying run to the plate. A couple of fielder’s choices got one run across, but Jose Abreu’s bid to extend the game was flagged down by Adam Jones in right center.

Bullet points:

*Gonzalez survived a 31-pitch first inning and a run-scoring HBP to toss a quality start. A Davis solo blast was the only other damage.

*Willy Garcia froze a couple runners with strong throws to the plate from right. His second registered at 100.5 mph, according to MASN.

Record: 15-13 | Box score | Highlights