By Jake Rill
BALTIMORE – The mood in the White Sox clubhouse after Sunday’s game was much different than the nine before it. The music blared, the players laughed and joked, and there were positive feelings all around.
It took until the final game of the ten-game AL East road trip, but the White Sox finally pulled out a win. The Sox got a solid start from rookie starter Andre Rienzo, Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer, and won 4-2 over the Baltimore Orioles before 32,042 at Camden Yards.
Had the Sox lost, it would’ve been their tenth straight loss, tying their longest losing streak of the season. Instead, they return to Chicago on a positive note.
“It always feels good to win,” White Sox first baseman Jeff Keppinger said. “We’re out here to compete and win baseball games. It was a really bad road trip for us, but to be able to go home knowing that we at least scratched one across is good.”
The White Sox (57-85) scored more runs Sunday than they had over the first three games of the series combined. They were able to get ahead early, bounce back after the Orioles (75-65) tied it, and then pad their lead even more.
"Nobody likes losing," Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I don't know if it takes any monkey off your back because the record still stinks. You just go and play for today and you're trying to do things to win games. There was a lot of good things today.”
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And they began early on.
With one out in the top of the second, Conor Gillaspie singled to center. The next batter, Dayan Viciedo, laced a double to left-center, scoring Gillaspie from first and giving the Sox a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth, Keppinger led the inning off with a double to left. After Gillaspie hit an infield single, Jordan Danks also singled to load the bases with one out.
Keppinger scored on an infield single by Alejandro De Aza, but Leury Garcia struck out looking to leave the bases loaded.
In the bottom of the fourth, White Sox starter Andre Rienzo allowed his first run as he gave up a leadoff solo homer to Adam Jones.
However, the Sox answered right back. After Alexei Ramirez led off the fifth with a single and a steal of second, Dunn blasted a 424-foot home run to right extending the White Sox lead to 4-1.
“It seems like even when we do get one-run leads, the other teams seems to bounce right back the next inning or something,” Keppinger said. “So it was good to get that cushion and luckily we were able to hold onto it.”
Orioles starter Bud Norris (10-11) exited shortly after Dunn’s homer. He gave up four runs on nine hits over 4 1-3 innings.
Rienzo (2-1) gave up one run on four hits over 6 2-3 innings.
“The one thing on my mind today is I wanted to help win and make the losing streak over," Rienzo said.
Like Saturday, the Sox gave Baltimore the opportunity to drive in some runs, but again the Orioles failed to do so. Baltimore went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position, a day after going 2 for 18.
Sox closer Addison Reed had a shaky ninth. The right-hander walked the bases with none out after a single and a pair of walks, but was able to escape the jam and pick up his 37th save.
“The best thing about the whole thing is that we came out of it with a win,” Reed said. “Obviously we’ve been kind of struggling as of late, and just to get a win shows that we’re not giving up.”