CHICAGO (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles claim to have a different mindset this season and not even a tiny interloper could derail another confidence-building road victory.
Jason Hammel struck out 10 and closer Jim Johnson fanned Alex Rios with the bases loaded Thursday to preserve the Orioles’ 5-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.
“I wasn’t trying to make it as dramatic as I did,” Johnson said. “It’s good to get three out of four here.”
The game was briefly delayed in the top of the seventh inning when a young boy who appeared to about 4 or 5 years old slipped through a barricade and went running across the outfield. With the crowd laughing, White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo scooped him up and handed him over to a security guard.
The child and his family were ejected from the game per Major League Baseball rules but no charges were filed, the team said.
“Safety is our No. 1 concern and we are happy that the child is fine,” White Sox spokesman Scott Reifert said in a statement. “Obviously it was a non-issue for Dayan who was able to field the kid cleanly.”
“But going on the field is stuff we do take seriously. It’s not something we condone in any way,” he said.
Adam Jones hit his fifth homer of the season and an RBI double. He’s gone deep four times in the first seven games of Baltimore’s 10-game road trip. The two-run shot in the fifth was his first this year with a runner on base.
The Orioles won three of four from Chicago and have won their first two road series of the season, including two of three at Toronto last weekend. Baltimore won just five road series last season.
“A common denominator of teams that are competitive is they play well on the road,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “So far, so good.”
Hammel (2-0) matched a career high for strikeouts, doing it in just six innings. He worked out of trouble early, leaving the bases loaded in the first and third.
“I made some good pitches,” Hammel said. “They’re a very aggressive team. They’re going swing at bad stuff if you get ahead in the count. I think I exploited that today.”
Johnson earned his sixth save. He has converted 14 straight chances dating to last season.
Hammel bested Gavin Floyd (1-2), who allowed five runs and six hits in six innings.
“Obviously not the results you want,” Floyd said. “You want to keep the team in the game a little bit better.”
Adam Dunn had a walk, an RBI double and scored for Chicago. He extended his streak of getting on base to six appearances before striking out his next two times up, increasing his AL-high total to 21.
Dunn singled with two outs in the ninth, moving pinch-runner Brent Morel to third, and Paul Konerko was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Rios struck out looking to end the game.
“It’s like you’re getting close and it’s just not happening,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Eventually, those (rallies) will push through and it will be different.”
Jones doubled during a two-run first. In the fifth, after J.J. Hardy’s sacrifice fly broke a 2-all tie, Jones hit a full-count fastball from Floyd into the left-field seats.
“I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do,” Jones said. “Just staying aggressive in the zone, trying to be the best for my team.”
Hammel allowed doubles to Alejandro De Aza and Dunn in the third. Rios’ single made it 2-all and Alexei Ramirez walked to load the bases. Hammel recovered to strike out Viciedo and Tyler Flowers, preserving the tie.
Endy Chavez reached bases three times and scored two runs for the surprising Orioles, who travel to Anaheim for the last stop on their road trip leading the AL East.
“We have a good group of guys here,” Jones said. “There is a different mindset in here this year. We’re not letting up on nobody.”
NOTES: The White Sox announced a paid attendance of 11,836. All four games against the Orioles drew fewer fans than any game at U.S. Cellular Field last season. The series drew a total of just 50,653. Orioles LF Nolan Reimold was held out of the starting lineup because of a stiff neck. Reimold, who is hitting .378 during a nine-game hitting streak, is expected to return to the lineup on Friday when Baltimore begins a three-game series against the Angels. Baltimore’s Nick Johnson went hitless in four at-bats and is 0 for 20 for the season, the most hitless at-bats in the majors.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)