BALTIMORE — Brett Lawrie had another big day and the White Sox offense hasn’t been too bad, either.
Lawrie homered in a third straight game and reached base all five times on Sunday afternoon as the White Sox completed a very successful road trip with a 7-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in front of 28,803 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Working behind an offense that scored 41 runs during the 5-2 trip, Chris Sale improved to 6-0 and the White Sox split a four-game set with the Orioles. The win also gave the White Sox a 13-6 record during a stretch with 19 games in 19 days.
Lawrie jumpstarted the White Sox offense in the fourth, two innings after the White Sox came up empty with the bases loaded and no outs. With two outs and no score, Lawrie ripped a 1-2 fastball from Ubaldo Jimenez 404 feet to left field for his fourth home run of the season. He also homered on Friday and Saturday, marking the first time in his career that he has accomplished the feat in three straight games.
The White Sox then dinked and dunked Jimenez to death in the fifth inning. Dioner Navarro and Austin Jackson made up for the second inning when they struck out and grounded into a double play to ended the bases-loaded threat. Navarro singled and Jackson doubled to deep center and Jimenez loaded the bases when he hit Adam Eaton with a pitch.
Carlos Sanchez had an RBI groundout and Jose Abreu singled in another to make it 3-0. Melky Cabrera singled in another run on a blooper to left and Jerry Sands dropped a two-run single into center to knock Jimenez out of the game.
Lawrie walked in between the hits by Cabrera and Sands, his fourth free pass of the trip. He also singled and doubled and reached base in 11 of 30 plate appearances on the road trip. The effort raised Lawrie’s batting average to .290.
The effort was another big one from an offense that has begun to show signs of life after a slow start to the season. The White Sox scored at least four runs in five of their seven games away from U.S. Cellular and averaged 5.86 per contest. The same group scored an average of 3.2 runs per contest in its first 19 games this season.
While Abreu hasn’t flexed his muscles in a while, his bat continues to heat up. A day after he singled in runs in the final two innings, Abreu singled twice more and drew a first-inning walk. He finished the road trip 11-for-29 with six RBIs and four walks.
The outpouring made a laborious day easier for Sale, who needed 107 pitches to complete five innings. Baltimore’s loaded lineup ran a bunch of deep counts against Sale, but didn’t accomplish much else.
He stranded at least one runner in each of his first five frames and two each in the first, third and fifth innings. Still, Sale kept the Orioles at bay, striking out six, including the side in the fourth. His biggest escape came in the fifth inning as his pitch count ran high. Sale walked two, including a 12-pitch free pass to Manny Machado, with one out. But he struck out Mark Trumbo and induced a fly ball out from Adam Jones.
Sale allowed a run, six hits and walked four in 5 1/3 innings.
Four White Sox relievers combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings to close it out.