Dylan Covey keeps hitting that fifth-inning wall, which becomes a bigger problem when he also gives up a bunch of runs in the first.
Covey lasted two batters into the fifth, giving up a single and a homer before Rick Renteria pulled him. Those two runs erased the two runs the Sox scored in the top of the fifth to get back in the game, and they also provided the necessary margin after the White Sox narrowed the lead with a couple of homers.
The Orioles rattled Covey from the get-go, loading the bases on three straight singles and scoring one when Covey balked. It was an egrocious balk, too — either a fake throw to third, which is outlawed, or an attempted move with Todd Frazier 20 feet from the bag. Regardless, Mark Trumbo followed with a smash to the hole that Tim Anderson stopped but couldn’t glove, and Trey Mancini hit an RBI double to give Baltimore an immediate 3-0 lead.
Manny Machado added a solo homer in the second, in the form of a rope that found the first row in left field.
The Sox needed a couple turns through the lineup to figure out Baltimore’s Dylan (Bundy), but they found traction in the fifth. Omar Narvaez started it with a one-out walk, Yolmer Sanchez doubled, and Melky Cabrera drove in Narvaez with a sac fly. The Sox still hadn’t found a way to score a run without an out this series until Leury Garcia followed with a bouncer past a diving Ryan Flaherty, scoring Sanchez. That cut Baltimore’s lead to 4-2, but then Covey imploded.
Those expecting Chris Beck to throw multiple shutout innings could have successfully first-guessed Renteria for his letting Covey start the fifth. After Covey crumbled, Beck came in and kept Baltimore off the board for the rest of the fifth, the sixth and the seventh, which gave the Sox a chance to chip away.
They did so by blasting. First, Cody Asche turned around a 2-1 Bundy fastball and sent it into the right-center bleachers for his first homer as a White Sox. Two innings later, Jose Abreu maintained his torrid series by lining a 2-2 Mychal Givens slider off the left-field foul pole, making it a one-run game.
After Latham’s Tommy Kahnle pitched a dominant eighth, the same part of the order had a chance to start another rally against interim closer Darren O’Day. Alas, Narvaez and Sanchez struck out, and Melky Cabrera grounded out to short.
*Opponents are now hitting .556/.579/1.111 against Covey in 19 fifth-inning plate appearances.
*Todd Frazier returned to the lineup and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, although he did make a fine diving stab to rob Mancini.
*Cabrera batted leadoff while Anderson dropped down to seventh. He went 0-for-4.