BALTIMORE (AP) — Nolan Reimold came to plate with a .209 batting average and four hits in his last 37 at-bats. The last thing he needed was to put pressure on himself to produce with the score tied in the bottom of the 10th.
Jumping on the first pitch he saw from Jason Frasor, Reimold hit a two-run homer to carry the Baltimore Orioles to a 6-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox, whose five-game winning streak ended.
“I was just trying to be relaxed,” Reimold said. “I was 0 for 4 at that point — relax and not be tense.”
The drive followed a one-out single by Chris Davis. It was Reimold’s seventh home run, the first since July 26.
“He’s got some skills that could play up here if he can grasp some of the small things,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Reimold, a part-timer last year and this season. “Tonight, he got a good return for some of the work he’s been putting in. I know he was excited. So were we.”
J.J. Hardy went 4-for-5 with a home run for the last-place Orioles, who blew a four-run lead before winning for only the
second time in eight games.
“Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches a little bit,” said closer Kevin Gregg, who pitched a perfect ninth. “We
didn’t let it get out of hand.”
Mike Gonzalez (2-2) worked the 10th for the Orioles, who also got a home run from Adam Jones.
The loss ended Chicago’s seven-game road winning streak, kept the White Sox four games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central and ruined Chicago’s bid to reach .500 for the first time since July 29. Hardy is 7 for 14 with two homers in the first three games of the four-game series.
“What’s the guy’s name — J.J. Ruth? J.J. Ruth hit a home run. This guy swings the bat pretty well lately,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “J.J. Ruth. I go to see his museum tomorrow.”
Frasor (2-2) lamented the pitch he threw to Reimold, which ruined an outing that began in the ninth.
“Sllider. I don’t think it did too much,” the right-hander said. “You know, I think he knew it was coming. He crushed it.”
Making his second start for Baltimore since coming over in a July 30 trade with the Texas Rangers, Tommy Hunter took a 4-1 lead into the seventh. He got two outs before No. 9 hitter Brent Morel doubled in a run, putting runners at second and third.
Right-hander Jason Berken came in to face left-handed hitter Juan Pierre, who grounded the first pitch inside the third-base line for a two-run single, tying the score at 4.
Hunter gave up four runs and seven hits. In his two starts with the Orioles, he has not yielded a walk in 10 2-3 innings.
White Sox starter Philip Humber allowed four runs and 11 hits in six innings. He was 0-4 with a 7.97 ERA in his prior four starts.
After previously being outscored 82-35 in the first inning this season, Baltimore took a 1-0 lead before making two outs.
Hardy hit his 21st home run, and Nick Markakis and Jones both singled before Humber retired Matt Wieters and Mark Reynolds.
The Orioles reversed another trend in their next crack at Humber. Held hitless in the second inning of its last 11 games,
Baltimore used four singles and a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
Robert Andino singled in a run and scored on a bases-loaded fly ball by Markakis.
The White Sox didn’t get a runner in scoring position until Alex Rios led off the fifth with a double. He did not advance.
Jones led off the bottom half with his 21st home run, increasing his team-high RBI total to 71. Chicago closed to 4-1 in the sixth.
Pierre hit a bloop to left that a charging Felix Pie gloved with a dive, but the ball squirted free for a double. Pierre advanced on a fly ball and scored on a groundout by Konerko.
NOTES: Chicago’s Adam Dunn struck out three times, the 19th time this season he’s had three Ks or more in a game. … Orioles DH Vladimir Guerrero got the night off after a 1-for-18 skid dropped his batting average to .274. “I can tell in the dugout he’s been a little frustrated lately because he’s trying so hard,” Showalter said of the 36-year-old slugger. … LHP Mark Buehrle (9-5) starts for the White Sox on Thursday night, hoping to extend a streak of 17 straight games in which he’s permitted three runs or fewer. It’s the longest such run by a White Sox starter in a single season since Dave Lemonds in 1972, according to information provided to the White Sox by the Elias Sports Bureau. Chris Tillman (3-4) is
expected to start for the Orioles. … Jones’ first-inning single ended an 0-for-12 drought.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)