Showalter: We didn't cash in on our opportunities
BALTIMORE – It might not have made any difference. The Orioles were still down by two runs with two outs in the ninth as Chris Dickerson was doubled up at first on a foul pop to end the game.
The Orioles had again failed to produce with runners in scoring position, but because of Dickerson’s miscue they weren’t going to get a try at another.
The good news was that the Orioles managed to win three of four against the Chicago White Sox despite going 3-for-37 with runners in scoring position.
The bad news was that they failed to capitalize on a chance for a rare four-game sweep in a 4-2 loss to the White Sox before 32,042 at Oriole Park.
“I think everybody’s aware of what we’re doing with runners in scoring position or what we’re not doing,” Chris Davis said. “It’s not going to be easy. It’s hard enough as it is, but knowing that we have so much on the line and that our time is running thin, I think we just kind of put a little bit too much pressure on ourselves.”
In the ninth, the Orioles trailed by three, but loaded the bases against Chicago closer Addison Reed, who lost Saturday’s game on a two-run, two-out, 10th inning single by Matt Wieters.
Wieters led off the ninth with a walk. Nick Markakis singled and J.J. Hardy walked to load the bases. Ryan Flaherty bounced to second to force Hardy and score Wieters.
Brian Roberts popped to second baseman Leury Garcia, who was playing in foul ground as Dickerson, who was running for Flaherty, easily reached second.
Dickerson had no idea the ball was caught and was dumbfounded on second as the game ended and the White Sox (57-85) managed to snap a nine-game losing streak. He admitted that shortstop Alexei Ramirez fooled him.
“Ramirez deked at second like he was anticipating the ball coming to second, and I was already in the position where I had to slide anyways. By that time I was too far past. You can only go so far. Even if you do read it, who knows if you have a chance of getting back, I mean full speed, stopping, then coming back,” Dickerson said.
The Orioles (76-66) had a chance to make up more ground on the reeling Tampa Bay Rays, but Tampa Bay beat Seattle. The Rays lead the Orioles by two games for the second Wild Card. Cleveland is one game behind.
“We've got a very tough foe coming in here and tough behind that and behind that and behind that,” manager Buck Showalter said.
The Orioles’ final 20 games are against the American League East, against whom they are 27-29.
“That's been on the schedule for a long time. That's not like something they just presented to us all of a sudden,” Showalter said.
Bud Norris (10-11) allowed four runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, his shortest stint with the Orioles.
IN the second, Chicago scored on a single by Conor Gillaspie and a double by Dayan Viciedo.
The White Sox took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Jeff Keppinger led off with a double. He didn’t advance on Gillaspie’s infield single. Jordan Danks’ single loaded the bases with one out. Keppinger scored on Alejando De Aza’s infield single.
Adam Jones led off the fourth with his 31st home run of the year off Andre Rienzo (2-1). Jones is one home run shy of his career high.
Norris was removed with one out in the fifth, one batter after Adam Dunn launched a two-run home run onto Eutaw Street. That gave Chicago (57-85) a 4-1 lead.
Rienzo, who is the first native of Brazil to win a major league game, worked 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits.
After Rienzo (2-1) allowed a two-out single to Hardy, Matt Lindstrom allowed a double to Flaherty before Roberts struck out to end the inning.
Manny Machado reached on a two-base error by Gillaspie at third to start the inning. Donnie Veal struck out Davis and walked Jones before Nate Jones ended the inning by getting Henry Urrutia to hit into a double play.
After the game, Jones tweeted that he’d soon be home eating spaghetti, and not peeking at the scoreboard.
“I don’t—unless they’re showing football,” Jones said.
NOTES: Jason Hammel pitched for the first time since July 28. He’d been on the disabled list with a strained right forearm.
-Machado’s sixth inning double was his 48th. He’s tied for fifth on the Orioles’ single-season double list.
-The Orioles’ last four-game sweep was on Aug. 22-25, 2011 at Minnesota.
-Chris Tillman (15-5, 3.71) faces CC Sabathia (13-11, 4.86) as the Orioles open a four-game series against New York on Monday.