Orioles-White Sox Preview
While Camden Yards is normally considered a hitter's ballpark, neither Rogers Centre nor U.S. Cellular Field has contained Nolan Reimold.
Reimold tries to become the first Oriole in more than 35 years to homer in five consecutive games in a single season Wednesday night when Baltimore continues its four-game series against the Chicago White Sox.
The left fielder began showing glimpses of his power down the stretch last year, hitting five homers in 22 games in September. After an 0-for-4 season debut, Reimold has hit safely in eight consecutive games and gone deep in his last four - all on the road.
His two-run shot and J.J. Hardy's homer immediately following in the sixth inning accounted for all the offense Tuesday night as Baltimore (7-4) emerged with a 3-2 victory. Reimold is 13 for 33 (.394) during his hitting streak with seven extra-base hits.
"Just staying calm," said Reimold, who homered in Baltimore's last two games of a three-game set in Toronto and also made a terrific diving catch Tuesday. "No real secret to it. It's just kind of happening. Just been feeling good, keeping my swing short and not moving my head too much."
While Melvin Mora was the last Orioles player to homer in five straight games, his streak bridged 2005 and 2006. Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson was the last to accomplish the feat in a single season, forging a franchise-record six-game run July 18-23, 1976, during his only season with the Orioles.
Reimold will be facing White Sox starter Jake Peavy (1-0, 3.55 ERA) for the first time as the right-hander seeks consecutive victories. His lone mistake in 6 2-3 innings Friday against Detroit was a two-run homer to Delmon Young, and Peavy struck out eight and allowed two hits in a 5-2 victory.
He allowed three runs and eight hits over six innings in Chicago's 4-3 win in Texas in his first start April 7.
"We just made pitches," Peavy told the team's official website. "I had a little better stuff than I had in Texas. ... It's an encouraging day when you go out and make pitches against a team and keep them at bay for the most part."
He will be making his second start versus the Orioles, with the other in 2007 while with San Diego. Peavy has pitched well against Mark Reynolds, whom he has struck out eight times in 14 at-bats.
Reynolds, batting .182, has struck out 14 times in 30 at-bats over his last eight games.
A.J. Pierzynski continued his torrid start Tuesday for the White Sox (5-5), going 2 for 3 with a two-run double. He has at least one RBI in six straight games, has a team-high 11 and is hitting .478 (11 for 23) with three homers and five extra-base hits during a seven-game hitting streak.
Pierzynski has never faced Orioles scheduled starter Tommy Hunter (1-0, 2.77), who had trouble keeping the ball down his last outing. The right-hander matched a career worst by giving up four homers - all solo shots - in six-plus innings Friday, but the Orioles rallied for a 7-5 win at Toronto.
Hunter is 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA in two starts against the White Sox, and he will be making his first appearance at U.S. Cellular Field.
Baltimore's bullpen has made significant contributions in both victories in this series, tossing six shutout innings of two-hit relief to lower its ERA to 2.75.