BALTIMORE (AP) — The young players on the rebuilding Baltimore Orioles have endured a whole lot of losses in front of quite a few small crowds this season.
Some days, however, are worth savoring.
Rookie Cedric Mullins had a career-high four hits, Jonathan Villar and Adam Jones homered and the Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 8-4 Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Baltimore jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first inning and made the advantage stand up in front of 19,104 spirited fans on a sunny afternoon.
“It’s a great kind of reminder of what has been, what can be and hopefully will be again,” manager Buck Showalter said. “You can tell the younger players feed off that a little bit. These days are hard to find.”
Not recently, anyway.
After taking control against Lucas Giolito (10-11), Baltimore secured its 43rd victory. That means the Orioles can’t match the major league record of 120 losses in a season, set by the 1962 New York Mets.
It’s a small consolation for a team that traded away veteran talent for prospects in July.
Sometimes, the young kids come through. Mullins added a fine catch in center field to go with his four hits; Ryan Meisinger (1-0) got the final two outs in the fifth inning for his first major league victory and Paul Fry finished for his initial big league save.
Unfortunately, rookie starter David Hess yielded three home runs and couldn’t get out of the fifth.
“When the guys go out there and put up runs for you as a pitcher you want to go and shut it down and show that you have their back,” Hess said. “I wasn’t able to do that.”
Daniel Palka hit two solo home runs and Yolmer Sanchez had a two-run shot for the White Sox.
Palka, who leads Chicago with 24 home runs, left in the eighth inning after diving in a futile effort to catch a sinking liner.
“Jammed his knee and tweaked the other side. Body contorted a bit,” manager Rick Renteria said.
Palka said, “It’s fine. It just kind of jammed into the ground.”
The Orioles sent nine players to the plate in their biggest first inning of the year. Villar and Jones both hit RBI singles before DJ Stewart collected his first major league RBI with a grounder. Jones scored on an error, and Breyvic Valera capped the uprising with a sacrifice fly.
“We just didn’t come out in that first inning ready to play defense, myself included,” Giolito said. “There were quite a few pitches that inning that I left up over the plate. The next thing you know there’s five runs on the board.”
Villar homered to make it 6-1 before long balls by Sanchez and Palka chased Hess.
Jones hit his 15th homer in the seventh. It’s been a strange month for the 33-year-old veteran, who’s seen a lot of bench time while the rebuilding Orioles look at a few of their younger outfielders.
Orioles: C Chance Sisco left in the fourth inning after having his chin cut by a foul tip. … RHP Luis Ortiz (hamstring) will receive an MRI on Monday or Tuesday and might be shut down for the season. The rookie hurt himself during his first major league start Friday, the second time this season he’s dealt with a hamstring issue. “It’s something we need to solve as we go forward,” Showalter said.
White Sox: After a day off Monday, Chicago will call upon lefty Carlos Rodon (6-5, 3.10 ERA) to start in Cleveland. He’s 4-2 with 2.44 ERA lifetime against the Indians.
Orioles: Toronto comes to town for a three-game series that begins Monday. Baltimore’s lone three-game sweep of the season was against the Blue Jays last month.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.