If someone would tell you that a visiting team would collect 34 hits in a series, while yielding only 18, you would be safe to assume that the visiting team took the series with no issue.
Then again, this is the Baltimore Orioles, and if you’re looking for conventional, this is not the team to be paying attention to.
In a three-game series against another foe pushing for a playoff spot, the Orioles would take two of three from Chicago, keeping their pace in the AL Wild Card scenario.
The difference between the two teams was that Baltimore came up with the key hit when it mattered. Though they only had 18 in the series, they made the most of those hits in their two victories.
Game one saw Austin Voth (4-1) give up two runs to start the game. He settled in to pitch 5.2 innings, working through traffic most of the game, but limiting the damage.
Ryan Mountcastle flexed his muscles in the bottom of the first, hitting a three-run home run to give the Orioles a lead they would not relinquish in route to a 5-3 victory.
Game two saw another strong outing from Spenser Watkins, as he pitched six innings of two-run ball. Unfortunately, the bullpen would give up three runs over the next inning.
Austin Hays hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, his 300th career hit, but that would close all the scoring, as the Birds would fall, 5-3.
The rubber match was one that was full of excitement.
Once again, the White Sox jumped out to an early lead, before Anthony Santander would hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, his 22nd of the year.
From there, Jordan “Innings Eater” Lyles went to work, putting in seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned).
The White Sox scored in the seventh and eighth innings to take a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the ninth.
Down to their last batter and last strike, an error on a foul ball by Adam Engel kept Kyle Stowers’ at-bat alive.
Stowers stared towards the pitcher’s mound. Playing in his seventh game, he would take Liam Hendricks out to center field, tying the game at three all.
From there, the Orioles buckled down and took control. Félix “The Mountain” Bautista (4-3), who picked up a save in game one, would pitch two innings, shutting down the White Sox offense.
Come the bottom on the 11th, Santander would come up clutch again and drive in the winning run to seal the game and win the series. The Orioles also secured their third straight winning month in route to their 65th victory on the season.
The Baltimore Battery ❌-FACTOR was the Orioles’ offensive ability to score in the seventh inning and beyond.
The two games the Orioles won both included runs scored in the seventh inning or later. Game three saw them score in the ninth and the eleventh innings.
Stowers became the first Oriole since Rich Coggins in 1973 to have his first career home run go for a game-tying shot.
The Orioles have little time to catch their breath, as they head to Houston to start a three-game series with the American League leaders, the Houston Astros.
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