The Baltimore Orioles were down to their last strike in the ninth inning Thursday against Chicago White Sox' closer Liam Hendriks. But a Sox' fielding gaffe followed by an Orioles' game-saving home run sent the contest into extras, and the unrelenting Birds went on to win by a score 4-3 in 11 innings.
Baltimore remained within 2.5 games of the final American League Wild Card spot thanks to the comeback victory. Meanwhile, the White Sox added yet another miserable chapter to the book of sorrows that has been their 2022 season.
Andrew Vaughn surprisingly took up leadoff duties for the White Sox but wasted no time opening the scoring. The righty slugger hit the first pitch of the game out of the now-cavernous Camden Yards.
But the Orioles answered in the bottom half of the inning when Anthony Santander hit a two-run shot off Lance Lynn. The Sox' self-inflicted wounds loomed large from the get-go as Jose Abreu made two errors at first base, one of which allowed an unearned run to cross the plate on Santander's homer.
The Pale Hose tied the game in the seventh with an unearned run of their own. Then, Abreu plated Gavin Sheets, who reached on a double, for the go-ahead run in the eighth. The South Siders held a 3-2 lead until the unfortunate events of the ninth inning.
With Liam Hendriks on the mound having already recorded two outs, it seemed the visitors were on their way to a series victory. Kyle Stowers was Baltimore's last chance, and he should have been retired on a foul ball down the left field line. But Adam Engel, a late-inning defensive replacement, took his eye off the ball and dropped it. It was the White Sox' third error of the game, and the O's made them pay for it.
Engel's gaffe gave new life to Stowers, who blasted his first MLB homer two pitches later to tie the game.
Another One Slips Away
In extra innings, Baltimore closer Felix Bautista pitched both frames and retired all six batters. The White Sox failed to move their granted runner from second base in either inning.
The Orioles had a missed opportunity of their own when they did not score despite having runners on the corners with no outs in the 10th. However, the home team ultimately prevailed in the 11th when Adley Rutschman led off with a single against Jake Diekman. Santander followed with a line drive over the head of centerfielder Luis Robert for the walk-off win.
Three of Baltimore’s four runs on the night were unearned. The White Sox have no one to blame but themselves for their latest devastating loss.
Chicago outhit Baltimore 34-18 in the series.
Hendriks was one strike away from tying the franchise record for consecutive saves (20), held by Matt Karchner and Roberto Hernandez.
Luis Robert’s hitting streak ended at 14 games as he hit into two double plays and went 0-5. Regularly taking one-handed swings, Robert's wrist is clearly still bothering him.
Yoan Moncada left the game in the fifth inning with left hamstring tightness.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Chicago White Sox begin a nine-game homestand Friday night. They will kick things off with a three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the series opener, Johnny Cueto will start for the Sox against Arizona lefty Tommy Henry. You can watch the game on NBC Sports Chicago beginning at 7:10 PM CT and Sox On Tap will have the postgame show.