CHICAGO -- A four-run sixth-inning outburst broke open a pitcher's duel Thursday as the Chicago White Sox claimed a series victory with a 5-2 win, handing the Baltimore Orioles their seventh loss in eight games at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Orioles starter Chris Tillman tightroped out of danger during the early part of Thursday's game, stranding the bases loaded in the second and leaving a couple of runners on in the third and fourth innings.
Tillman's luck ran out in the sixth, however, when he loaded the bases with nobody out on a double, a walk and a bunt single. After striking out Willy Garcia, he gave up a pair of runs on Melky Cabrera's two-run single. After he was replaced by Jimmy Yacabonis, two more runs would score on a bases-loaded walk to Jose Abreu and a Leury Garcia sacrifice fly. Tillman lasted 5 1/3 innings and was left on the hook for five runs, marking the fourth consecutive outing he's allowed five or more to score.
"I made a pretty [bad] pitch to the leadoff guy and walked the next guy," Tillman said of the sixth inning. "I blow the bunt play, and then [I'm] able to get an out, and then not do anything from there."
White Sox left-hander David Holmberg, who was making likely his last start before returning to the bullpen, was solid despite not being able to provide much length. He departed in the fifth with a 1-0 lead, but was on the hook as the Orioles tied the game on a bloop RBI double from Caleb Joseph -- which had a Statcast™ hit probability of 7 percent -- off Anthony Swarzak in the fifth. Holmberg went 4 1/3 innings, allowing a run on four hits while throwing 76 pitches.
"Holmberg kept us in the game," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "I thought he gave us what he was going to give us. We went to the 'pen early, we just felt that at that particular moment it was a key situation for us to try to stifle a little bit of what was developing."
Welington Castillo homered for the second consecutive day for the Orioles, launching a solo shot to left-center off White Sox closer David Robertson to cut the lead to three in the ninth, but that's as close as Baltimore would close the gap.
The Orioles went 1-7 on their road trip and head back to Baltimore to begin a series Friday against the Cardinals at Camden Yards. They are 10-23 since May 9, when they won a season-high sixth straight game.
"You can't live in the 'Woe is us' world," Joseph said. "We have tremendous expectations that we want to meet, and this isn't just a keel-over-and-let-them-kick-your-teeth-in kind of team. We've got to take advantage of these scoring opportunities. It hasn't been for a lack of opportunities lately, and we have to take advantage."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Davidson does it again:Matt Davidson has wrecked the Orioles over the course of the week's four-game set. The 26-year-old continued his torrid power stretch, giving the White Sox a 1-0 advantage with a fourth-inning leadoff homer against Tillman. It was the fourth consecutive game in which Davidson homered. He is the first White Sox player to go deep in each game of a four-game set since Paul Konerko in 2010, and the first Sox player to homer in four consecutive games since Alex Rios in 2013. None came cheap, either. Each of the four home runs traveled at least 400 feet, according to Statcast™ projections. More >
"It proves all the hard work you've done, that it can happen," Davidson said. "I came off a bad two weeks and now four good games in a row. I know there are ups and downs but like I said it is pretty fun doing that."
No one's there: The White Sox quickly got to Tillman in the sixth, putting a pair on with Davidson's double to left and a walk to Yolmer Sanchez. Kevan Smith tried to keep the line moving with a sacrifice bunt, but found himself on first base after no Orioles player fielded it. Two batters later, Cabrera drove home the go-ahead runs, breaking open the decisive inning for the White Sox.
"It's a play that Chris probably needs to make," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Manny made a good read on it I thought. I thought Chris committed a little bit too much straight ahead. Knowing that situation where they're trying to bunt the ball we gotta anticipate that a little better."
"It was like, 'Boom,' [Renteria] got fired up. Nobody wants to see one of our best hitters come out of the lineup and obviously he was very frustrated. But that just shows you what he's preaching to us in here, what he brings to the able. It was awesome to see him get a little heated." -- Smith, on Renteria and Avisail Garcia's ejections for arguing balls and strikes in the fifth inning
"I mean, we've lost before. A loss is a loss, no matter how you look at it, but we've got a good club. We've got a good team and we know what we're capable of. We've just got to keep moving forward and play better baseball." -- Tillman
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Right-hander Kevin Gausman will start for Baltimore in the opener of a series against the Cardinals at Camden Yards at 7:05 p.m. ET. Gausman has experienced control issues in two of his past three starts, in which he's walked a combined 12 batters and allowed 14 runs (13 earned) on 24 hits.
White Sox: The White Sox embark on a six-game road trip and open a three-game set against Toronto on Friday, sending left-hander Jose Quintana (2-8, 5.30) to the mound. Quintana has bounced back in June, posting a 3.48 ERA in two starts after having a 5.60 ERA at the end of May. First pitch is scheduled for 6:07 p.m. CT.