CHICAGO – Kevin Millar singled in the go-ahead run in the ninth off Chicago closer Bobby Jenks as the Baltimore Orioles came from four runs down in the final two innings to beat the White Sox 7-6.
With Baltimore trailing 6-5, Corey Patterson led off the ninth with his fourth straight hit, a double. Patterson scored the tying run on Brian Roberts’ RBI single off Jenks (2-4), who blew his third save in 25 chances.
After a sacrifice, an intentional walk to Nick Markakis and a double steal, Millar delivered an RBI single to left to give the Orioles a 7-6 lead.
Rob Bell (1-1) pitched the eighth for the win. Chris Ray struck out the side for his 14th save in 18 tries, and first since June 8.
Trailing 6-2, the Orioles got three unearned runs in the eighth. Chicago starter Mark Buehrle gave up a double to Chris Gomez and one out later, White Sox third baseman Josh Fields fumbled Millar’s grounder for an error. Buehrle got Aubrey Huff to fly out but Ramon Hernandez greeted reliever Ryan Bukvich with an RBI double and then Jay Payton hit a two-run triple. Boone Logan struck out pinch-hitter Jay Gibbons to end the inning.
Buehrle gave up nine hits and four runs – two earned – on a night when his future with the club remained unsettled. Juan Uribe, Jim Thome and Fields hit two-run homers off Erik Bedard as the White Sox built their 6-2 lead.
Negotiations between the team and Buehrle’s agent on a contract extension slowed over the weekend, the impasse created by the team’s refusal to give a full no-trade clause. Chicago general manager Ken Williams said before the game he was hopeful an agreement could still be reached.
Buehrle can be a free agent after the season, and his name has been linked to many trade scenarios. That meant Monday night’s outing could conceivably have been the popular and consistent left-hander’s final one for the White Sox.
Buehrle got an ovation as he came in from the bullpen before the game and a much louder one as he was introduced and went to the mound. Hanging from a mezzanine box was a large sign: “Extend Buehrle.” And in the sixth inning, the crowd began to chant “Re-Sign Buehrle.”
And when he exited with two outs in the eighth, he was greeted by roaring ovation and waved his hat to acknowledge it before heading into the dugout.
Uribe broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth with a two-run homer, his seventh of the season after a walk to Luis Terrero. Fields hit the White Sox’s third two-run homer of the night in the sixth, a liner over the fence in right.
Thome’s 11th homer was also a two-run shot in the first inning and staked Buehrle to an early lead against Bedard.
Bedard yielded five hits and six runs in 5 2-3 innings.
The Orioles used a pair of two-out hits to tie the game at 2 in the third. Patterson doubled to lead off and after Roberts and Gomez were retired, Markakis doubled past third to make it 2-1 and then scored on Millar’s RBI single.
Notes: Roberts made a great play on Tadihito Iguchi’s liner in the third, reaching up to stop the ball with the top of his glove and then catching it in the air with his bare hand. Iguchi responded in the seventh, making a long run and sliding catch of Payton’s foul pop to right … Jermaine Dye returned to the White Sox’s lineup after missing nine game with a sore quad. … Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora was out of the lineup with a bruised left foot a day after he collided with Angels catcher Mike Napoli at home plate.