White Sox will try to parlay anger into win against Orioles

The Chicago White Sox, with the worst record in the major leagues, have been bad all season.

Now they’re mad.

They’ll head into Friday night’s game against the visiting Baltimore Orioles undoubtedly still agitated by the strange ending to Thursday night’s meeting in the opener of a four-game series.

The game ended on a controversial base runner interference call that resulted in a double play for the final outs in Baltimore’s 8-6 victory.

With two on and one out, Andrew Benintendi popped up. Shortstop Gunnar Henderson caught the ball — umpires had called the infield fly rule anyway — for the second out, then ruled that Andrew Vaughn interfered with Henderson on the play.

“It was a big surprise,” said Vaughn, who was the runner at second and ruled out. “I don’t feel like he was deterred from making a play. It was a high pop-up. We were all reading it. As a runner, I’ve got to read it and make sure I can get back to the bag.”

White Sox manager Pedro Grifol argued vehemently with umpires at the conclusion of the stunning final sequence.

There certainly was confusion, and the play ended the rally for the White Sox, who had scored four runs in the ninth.

“I felt like we escaped there,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.

The White Sox, who’ve won only once in their past seven games, will try again to gain traction during this seven-game homestand that began Thursday night.

The Orioles halted a season-worst three-game losing streak by prevailing in the series opener.

“We’re able to breathe a little bit, thankfully,” said Baltimore’s Jorge Mateo, who hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning.

The Orioles produced 13 hits, four by first baseman Ryan Mountcastle.

“We swung the bat really well,” Hyde said. “A lot of guys who had been scuffling a little bit put some really good swings on the baseball. We would have loved to see us tack on a little bit more.”

Still, the eight runs were the most in a six-game stretch for Baltimore.

The six runs allowed by the Orioles were also notable. That matched the second-most scoring by an opponent this year in any of Baltimore’s 30 victories.

On Friday, right-hander Corbin Burnes (4-2, 2.56 ERA) will start for the Orioles, going for back-to-back victories after holding the Seattle Mariners without an earned run in six innings of Baltimore’s 6-3 win on Sunday. He struck out 11 for the second time this season.

“I’m happy with how my stuff looks,” Burnes said. “Happy how the ball is coming out. Can’t really complain about it.”

Burnes has worked at least six innings in his past five starts, though this will mark just his second road assignment since April 20. He has made three career appearances against the White Sox, going 1-0 with a 4.70 ERA.

Among the negatives for the Orioles from Thursday night is that they used five relievers, including three in the ninth inning.

Right-hander Chris Flexen (2-4, 5.48 ERA) will be on the mound for Chicago, trying to bounce back from Sunday’s rough outing against the New York Yankees. He allowed seven runs on eight hits in four innings in Chicago’s 7-2 loss.

“It’s just about executing pitches,” Flexen said.

In three all-time starts vs. Baltimore, Flexen is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA. The loss came last August when he was a member of the Colorado Rockies.

–Field Level Media