Orioles beat White Sox, 6-4, behind Adley Rutschman's clutch hit, Colton Cowser's home run robbery

Matt Weyrich, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Baseball

CHICAGO — Even on days he’s not in the lineup, Adley Rutschman is finding ways to win games for the Baltimore Orioles.

Rutschman entered Friday night’s game as a pinch hitter with the score tied at 4 and came through with a two-run single to help the Orioles to a 6-4 win over the Chicago White Sox. Corbin Burnes delivered his sixth straight quality start — an outing of at least six innings with three earned runs or fewer — and Gunnar Henderson hit his 17th home run of the season to power the offense.

Burnes and White Sox starter Chris Flexen traded zeros over the first two innings before Henderson and Jordan Westburg hit back-to-back doubles with two outs in the third to take an early 1-0 lead. The Orioles stretched that lead to 4-0 in the fifth when Henderson came back up and crushed a 411-foot, two-run homer to left-center — his 17th of the year to tie the MLB lead — and Ryan Mountcastle followed with an RBI double three batters later.

The White Sox found some life offensively in the bottom half of the frame, scoring three runs against Burnes. First baseman Andrew Vaughn, who was called for interference on the final out of the Orioles’ 8-6 win Thursday night, hit an RBI double off the wall in left field to put two runners in scoring position. Paul DeJong came through with two outs, hitting a ground ball up the middle to bring both home.

That was all Chicago would manage against Burnes as the right-hander worked around a throwing error by catcher James McCann to post a scoreless sixth inning. Burnes pounded the zone all evening, throwing 64 of his 92 pitches (69.6%) for strikes and walking only two with six strikeouts to become the first Orioles pitcher with six quality starts in a row since Alex Cobb in 2018.

Manager Brandon Hyde decided not to send his ace back out for the seventh after he grinded through his last two innings, instead handing the ball to Yennier Cano. The right-hander has struggled of late, allowing three earned runs and letting several inherited runners score over his previous four innings.


Those struggles continued Friday when Vaughn hit his second extra-base hit of the day for a game-tying solo home run. Cano, even amid his recent struggles, had allowed only one home run over his previous 12 appearances and three all season.

However, the tie game wouldn’t last long as Ryan O’Hearn led off the eighth with a double and Anthony Santander followed with a walk two batters later. Hyde pinch hit Colton Cowser for Austin Hays to face right-hander John Brebbia with one out, but after a seven-pitch battle he hit a line drive straight at center fielder Tommy Pham. The White Sox brought in right-hander Michael Kopech and Hyde countered with Rutschman to hit for Cedric Mullins.

Rutschman worked the count full before lining a 99 mph on the outer half to left. Andrew Benintendi tried to make a sliding catch to rob Rutschman of a hit, but the ball bounced just under his outstretched glove. Both runners were moving with two outs, which allowed Santander to score all the way from first.

Danny Coulombe pitched a scoreless eighth inning for his 10th hold of the season and Craig Kimbrel notched his 11th save with some help from Cowser, who stayed in the game as a defensive replacement in center field and robbed a home run from Pham to end the game.

The Orioles (31-18) have taken the first two games of the series in Chicago. The start of Friday’s game was delayed 41 minutes because of the impending threat of a storm, but the rain didn’t arrive until the sixth inning and the teams played through it the rest of the contest. The Orioles will look to stay hot — and dry — Saturday when they go for the series victory. Baltimore has yet to announce a starter after placing Dean Kremer on the injured list with a triceps strain Friday afternoon.

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