Wilkerson HR helps Orioles beat White Sox 4-3 for series win
BALTIMORE (AP) — An unusual, second-chance home run enabled the Baltimore Orioles to put a satisfying finish on a homestand that began with four straight defeats.
Stevie Wilkerson hit his first major league homer , John Means pitched five effective innings on his birthday and the Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 4-3 Wednesday night to secure their second winning streak of the season.
After dropping three in a row to the Twins and opening against Chicago with a 12-2 loss, the Orioles won the next two games against the White Sox to capture their first series since April 1-3 in Toronto. The two successive victories are Baltimore’s most since a four-game run that began at Yankee Stadium on March 30, and improved its record at Camden Yards to 3-10.
“We haven’t been playing our best baseball here at home,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I thought we played better on the road, so it’s nice to play a couple really good games here.”
Wilkerson’s solo shot off Ervin Santana (0-2) put the Orioles up 4-1 in the fourth. Earlier in the at-bat, Wilkerson walked to first base after apparently being hit by a pitch, but the White Sox challenged the call and, following a replay, the call was overturned.
“It wasn’t a surprise,” Wilkerson said.
Three pitches later, he capped his 53rd big league at-bat by sending a hanging slider into the center-field bleachers.
“It felt good to round the bases,” Wilkerson said. “It was a weird at-bat before that.”
Making his third major league start, Means (3-2) marked his 26th birthday with a career-high six strikeouts. The lefty allowed one run and four hits.
The right-hander then got Yoan Moncada to hit a two-out grounder to shortstop Richie Martin, who made a nice grab moving to his left before throwing to first. Martin had entered as a defensive replacement in the top of the inning.
“Heck of a play,” Hyde said.
Chicago manager Rick Renteria said, “We had a nice run of guys that were going to give us an opportunity. We just fell short. Yoan put a good swing on that pitch.”
Still trying to regain the form that enabled him to win 16 games for Minnesota in 2017, Santana gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings. The 36-year-old has a 9.45 ERA in three starts with Chicago after going winless last year during an injury-riddled season with the Twins.
“I’m going to take the positive from that outing to the next one,” the right-hander said. “That’s the main key for me. I’m getting there.”
The Orioles went up 2-0 in the first when Dwight Smith Jr. and Renato Núñez hit successive two-out doubles and Rio Ruiz delivered an RBI single.
Down 4-1, the White Sox got a run in the sixth and threatened for more. After Baltimore reliever Evan Phillips hit Ryan Cordell with a pitch to force in a run, Jose Rondon struck out and Paul Fry came in to retire pinch-hitter Nicky Delmonico on a grounder.
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis missed the game to tend to a personal matter, Hyde said. He is expected to rejoin the team in Minnesota on Friday.
The Orioles obtained minor league infielder Ryne Ogren from Seattle for right-hander Mike Wright, who was designated for assignment by Baltimore on Sunday.
Wright was 0-1 with a 9.45 ERA this year and 10-12 lifetime over five seasons.
Ogren, 22, was drafted in the 12th round by the Mariners in 2018. The Orioles assigned him to Class A Delmarva.
White Sox: Starter Lucas Giolito (hamstring) will throw from the mound on Friday. Renteria said, “As long as he’s doing well and we’re comfortable, he’ll be back sometime soon.” … John Jay (groin) took batting practice and was throwing on Wednesday. There is no timetable for his return.
Orioles: RHP Nate Karns (forearm tightness) will make a rehab appearance Thursday with Class AA Bowie.
White Sox: After taking Thursday off, Chicago starts Carlos Rodón (3-2, 2.89 ERA) in the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Detroit Tigers.
Orioles: Following an off day Thursday, Baltimore begins a three-game series in Minnesota. The Orioles haven’t defeated the Twins since the 2018 season opener.