BALTIMORE (AP) — Coming off two consecutive lopsided victories over the sagging Chicago White Sox, the Baltimore Orioles appeared headed for another blowout after bolting to a four-run lead in the first inning of the series finale.
Unfortunately for the AL East-leading Orioles, it wasn’t enough of a cushion for 13-game winner Kyle Gibson.
Chicago hit three home runs off Gibson to rally from that early deficit and pulled out a 10-5 win Wednesday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Anthony Santander homered for the Orioles, who hit two doubles and a pair of singles in the first inning off Dylan Cease before fading to their third loss in 12 games.
“The offense did a great job of getting runs early,” Gibson said. “Then, giving them back there by not being able to make a pitch and get out of it, that’s pretty frustrating.”
Luis Robert Jr. hit his 35th home run in the third inning to put Chicago ahead for good. Andrew Vaughn and Óscar Colás also went deep for the White Sox, who were outscored 18-3 in the first two games of the series.
“It’s always good to win. I’m very happy to get this one after the first two games here,” Robert said through an interpreter.
The White Sox have struggled to score this season and were 5-12 in 17 games before this one, but on this day just about everything went right.
“This shows just how good our offense is,” Robert said. “I been telling you guys this since the start of the season, that we’re a good offensive team. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do that enough consistently.”
Gibson (13-8) allowed seven runs and nine hits over 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander gave up only 16 home runs in his first 27 starts, but in this one he allowed three homers to the first 11 batters he faced.
It was a weird August for Gibson, who beat the Mets, Oakland and Toronto but was shelled by Seattle and the White Sox.
“Had a bunch of quality starts, pitched really well for us,” manager Brandon Hyde said, “and had a few which really didn’t go his way early.”
Cease (6-7) overcame a 30-pitch first inning to earn only his second victory in eight starts since July 16. He allowed five runs and six hits in six innings, walking three and striking out seven.
Cease threw 109 pitches, the 10th time this season he’s reached triple digits.
Santander hit an RBI double and scored on a single by Ryan O’Hearn as part of a big first inning that made it appear as if the Orioles were ready to cruise behind Gibson, who was perfect in the top half.
But Chicago used two-run homers by Vaughn and Colás to pull even in the second, and Robert homered in the third before Vaughn and Elvis Andrus followed with run-scoring hits for a 7-4 lead.
It was 7-5 before the White Sox broke it open with a three-run sixth against Austin Voth. With two on, Tim Anderson hit a sinking liner to center that skipped past Cedric Mullins and rolled toward the wall for a triple. Andrew Benintendi followed with an RBI double.
Despite the loss, Baltimore won the season series 4-2, outscoring Chicago 43-27.
White Sox: C Seby Zavala (oblique) is participating in a training program designed to get him back to the White Sox next month. “He’s cranking it up to play a few days in a row,” manager Pedro Grifol said.
Orioles: OF Aaron Hicks (back) ran hard Wednesday and is “getting close” to coming off the injured list, Hyde said.
White Sox: After taking Thursday off, Chicago calls upon right-hander Touki Toussaint (2-6, 4.85 ERA) to start the opener of a brief three-game homestand against Detroit.
Orioles: Following a day off Thursday, Baltimore and lefty Cole Irvin (1-3, 4.78) face the Arizona Diamondbacks on the road.