BALTIMORE -- The White Sox closed April in the most appropriate of ways -- with another heavy dose of late-inning magic.
Jose Abreu had two late RBIs, including driving in the go-ahead run in the ninth and the White Sox tied a team record for April victories with an 8-7 win over the Baltimore Orioles in front of 29,152 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Playing without ejected manager Robin Ventura, the White Sox scored five times over the final three innings to rally for their 17 th win.
They finished the opening month with a 17-8 mark, tying the 2000, 2005 and 2006 clubs for most April wins.
An inning after his error allowed Baltimore to rally from two down, Jose Abreu provided his team with some redemption in the ninth. Abreu followed a two-out single by Adam Eaton and walk by Carlos Sanchez with an RBI single to right off Vance Worley to put the White Sox ahead for good. Nate Jones then pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the win.
The White Sox have scored 49 of their 95 runs (51.6 percent) from the seventh inning on.
The offense came to life against Baltimore’s bullpen, long after starter Kevin Gausman was gone.
Brett Lawrie walked to start the seventh against Mychal Givens and stole second base. Austin Jackson singled on the 10th pitch he saw from Givens to get the White Sox within a run.
They jumped ahead in the eighth with three runs against Darren O’Day, who hadn’t allowed a run all season. Sanchez doubled to open the inning and scored on a game-tying single to right by Abreu. Todd Frazier then launched a massive 411-foot homer -- his seventh -- to center to put the White Sox up 7-5.
Baltimore tied it in the bottom of the eighth when Abreu’s two-out error extended the inning for Matt Albers, who saw his scoreless streak snapped at 33 1/3 innings. Machado reached when Abreu dropped Frazier’s throw and Albers hit Jones. The White Sox brought Zach Duke on to face Chris Davis, who doubled in the tying runs.
A find since the season began, Mat Latos wasn’t as sharp with his location on Saturday.
Location has been a necessity for Latos, who has mostly worked with his fastball sitting between 88-90 mph. Whereas he’d been able to consistently locate most of his pitches in his first four starts, Latos was off the mark and the Orioles took advantage.
Baltimore had at least two hits in four of the five innings that Latos worked, including solo homers by Pedro Alvarez and Jonathan Schoop to tie it in the fourth.
The right-hander gave up a run in the first inning on a Mark Trumbo single but didn’t allow any more until the fourth despite giving up four hits. That’s because Adam Jones grounded into a controversial 5-4 double play in the third that resulted in the 12 th ejection of Ventura’s career. Machado, who reached on an infield single, slid late into second base and made contact with the leg of Lawrie, who never threw to first. Ventura asked for a review as Machado appeared to be in violation of the new rule regarding slides at second base. After a stoppage of at least six minutes, review officials determined that Machado didn’t interfere on the play and Jones was safe at first. Ventura immediately argued the call and loss of challenge with crew chief Gerry Davis, who ejected him.
Latos stranded two on in the fourth after yielding the solo homers and retired the first two batters he faced in the fifth. But Latos walked Matt Wieters and Alvarez doubled deep to center to put Baltimore up 4-3.
Latos, who saw his ERA increase to 1.84 from 0.74, allowed four earned runs and 11 hits in five innings.
The Orioles added a run in the sixth on Jones’ two-out RBI double off Zach Putnam.
After falling behind early, the White Sox rallied with the help of a Machado error in the third inning. Jerry Sands and Dioner Navarro started with singles. Adam Eaton then appeared to hit into a double play but Machado’s throw was wide of second, which allowed the tying run to score. Schoop then dropped Tyler Saladino’s pop up, which allowed another run as the White Sox pulled ahead 2-1.
Lawrie’s two-out solo home run -- his third of the season -- off Orioles starter Kevin Gausman put the White Sox up by two in the fourth inning. But Gausman shut down the White Sox the rest of the way, retiring the final seven men he faced after he yielded a two-out single to Sands.