Orioles bid to halt slide in series opener vs. White Sox

The Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox pretty much have been headed in the same direction this week.

They’ll meet Thursday night to begin a four-game series in Chicago with both clubs looking to reverse trends.

The Orioles have lost three games in a row for the first time this season, dropping all three games this week to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Orioles were busy Wednesday in St. Louis. They completed a suspended game that was halted in the sixth inning Tuesday night, losing 3-1. Then they played a regularly scheduled afternoon game, falling 5-4 without a player in the lineup getting more than one hit.

“Didn’t catch many breaks,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Didn’t play our best baseball these three games. We really have to kind of flush this one and play better in Chicago.”

The White Sox lost for the fifth time in their last six games when they were bashed 9-2 on Wednesday night at Toronto. In the losses during the past week, Chicago has given up six or more runs in four of those games, and each of those four setbacks was by at least a five-run margin.

Baltimore hadn’t been swept in a regular-season series since May 2022.

“Now we’ll start a new streak next series,” Orioles outfielder Austin Hays said. “We just didn’t play clean baseball. We didn’t play the defense we normally play. We just struggled to get things going offensively.”

Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said his team must learn from these latest shortcomings and strive not to repeat the mistakes.

Right fielder Zach DeLoach, 25, made his major league debut Wednesday for the White Sox, going 0-for-3 with a walk. Still, it was a special situation.

“That’s what I’ve worked for my whole life,” DeLoach said. “Pretty exciting to see that it’s kind of all paying off.”

Meanwhile, Hyde said uncharacteristic mistakes have been costly for Baltimore. The Orioles said they know how to get things right.

“Just keep playing the baseball we’ve played the last two years,” Hays said. “That’s what we have to do.”

Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (4-1, 3.15 ERA) is listed as the Orioles’ starting pitcher for Thursday. He’ll try to build on Saturday’s six-inning stint in which he held the Seattle Mariners to one hit without a run in a no-decision in Baltimore’s 4-3 loss. That was Rodriguez’s first game of May since spending time on the injured list.

Rodriguez faced the White Sox twice last year as a rookie. He gave up four runs in five innings in a road assignment in his third outing in the majors and then blanked Chicago for six innings while allowing one hit in the late-August rematch.

Left-hander Cole Irvin was a potential starter for Baltimore on Thursday, but he was used in relief in Wednesday’s full game.

Chicago right-hander Mike Clevinger (0-2, 5.56 ERA) will be on the mound for just the fourth time this year. He has lasted 4 2/3 innings in each of his past two starts, recording five strikeouts while surrendering a homer in both of those games as the White Sox lost to the New York Yankees and beat the Cleveland Guardians.

Clevinger, who last worked Friday against the Yankees, has made seven career starts vs. Baltimore, going 4-1 with a 3.11 ERA. He hasn’t faced the Orioles since throwing six shutout innings in a home victory in April 2023.

–Field Level Media