BALTIMORE – Nelson Cruz hit a game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning and David Lough scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the 12th to give the Baltimore Orioles a 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
Nick Markakis had four hits for the Orioles, who won two of three from Chicago – twice in their last at-bat.
Nick Hundley opened the bottom of the 12th with a walk off Daniel Webb (4-2) and Lough entered as a pinch-runner. Lough took third on a single by Markakis and scored easily when Webb uncorked a pitch that got past catcher Tyler Flowers.
Tommy Hunter (2-1) got the final out in the 12th to earn the win.
The Orioles didn’t get a runner past first base against White Sox starter Hector Noesi until the seventh inning and trailed 4-0 entering the eighth. Noesi was pulled after giving up two straight singles, and a walk to Chris Davis loaded the bases with two outs.
Chicago manager Robin Ventura summoned Javy Guerra, the fourth pitcher of the inning, to face Cruz. On a 2-1 pitch, Cruz launched an opposite-field drive that barely cleared the wall in right field. It was his second grand slam of the season and eighth of his career.
Neither team threatened before the grounds crew came with the tarp as soon as the ninth inning ended. Rain delayed the start of the 10th for 69 minutes.
Jose Abreu hit his 23rd home run for the White Sox, Adam Eaton tied a career high with four hits and Flowers drove in two runs. Abreu has four homers and 10 RBIs during his current 10-game hitting streak.
Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. The right-hander left the mound in danger of absorbing his ninth loss, but Cruz’s slam took Jimenez off the hook.
Until Cruz connected, Noesi and the White Sox dominated.
Abreu provided Chicago a 1-0 lead by hitting the first pitch of the fourth inning into the seats in left.
In the fifth, Alejandro De Aza drew a leadoff walk and scored on a triple by Eaton. The Orioles pulled the infield in, and that resulted in Eaton being thrown out at the plate on a grounder to third.
Flowers hit a two-run single in the seventh to make it 4-0. That seemingly provided a bit of breathing room for the White Sox, whose previous seven games were decided by two runs or fewer.
Unfortunately for Chicago, the lead didn’t hold up.