“The Orioles beat aces.”
That is the motto my hack friends and I have during our nightly Orioles text party and last night was no different.
That’s because the AL East first place team beat White Sox’s ace Chris Sale for the second time this year behind a outstanding pitching performance from Bud Norris and home runs from J.J. Hardy and Nelson Cruz.
They tacked on some more runs late on the pathetic WSox bullpen, including a 3-run double by Johnathan Schoop and a 2-run HR from Nick Markakis for the final score 8-2. Markakis showed off his defense just an inning before as he robbed a potential game changing HR from the WSox.
The opening series win on the South side gives the Orioles (71-52) a 7.5 game lead over the 2nd place Yankees and a full 8 games over the fading Blue Jays. It also provides them with the magic number of 33, which is tied their NL neighbors to the south (Nats) as the lowest magic number to clinch the division.
Tonight it’s Chris Tillman (9-5, 3.68) turn to secure another road series win. The WSox counter with Jose Quintana (6-9, 3.14).