Cruz, O's top White Sox on wild pitch in 12th
Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Nelson Cruz hit a game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning Wednesday night and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on a wild pitch hours later in the 12th.
The Orioles were being shut out in the three-game series finale before Cruz's two-out blast, which came on Chicago's fourth pitcher of the inning.
The game was delayed for more than an hour between the ninth and 10th innings because of rain.
In the 12th, Nick Hundley drew a leadoff walk against Daniel Webb (4-2) and pinch-runner David Lough went to third base on Nick Markakis' single.
Lough stumbled and fell making the turn and had to scramble back to third, then scored moments later when Webb uncorked a low pitch to Steve Pearce that kicked past catcher Tyler Flowers.
The Orioles bounced back from Tuesday's 4-2 loss to win for the sixth time in their last eight games.
Jose Abreu homered for the White Sox, who have lost 10 of their last 13.
White Sox starter Hector Noesi gave up consecutive singles to Hundley and Markakis to start the bottom of the eighth inning and was relieved by Zach Putnam, who then retired Pearce and Adam Jones on fly balls.
"(Noesi) threw a great game," praised White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "This was really the best he's thrown since he's been here."
Scott Downs came in and walked Chris Davis at the end of a nine-pitch at-bat to load the bases, bringing on Javy Guerra.
Cruz slapped a 2-1 fastball the other way and off the top of the wall in right field for his 24th homer of the season. Moises Sierra, who was a defensive replacement in right for Dayan Viciedo, jumped at the wall but his glove was a good foot away from where the ball struck.
Noesi, who had been cruising before the eighth, was charged with two of the runs. He gave up nine hits, no walks and struck out two and was six outs from snapping a two-start losing streak.
"He was in the bottom of the zone all night," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "He didn't throw more than two or three balls above the belt all outing. He was good."
Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez is still seeking his first home win as an Oriole after allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings.
Both teams stranded runners in 10th inning. The White Sox had runners at first and second in the top of the 12th when Tommy Hunter (2-1) replaced Brian Matusz and struck out pinch-hitter Paul Konerko to end the threat.
Abreu hit his 23rd homer of the season on the first pitch of the fourth inning, driving it over the wall in left field to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.
Alejandro De Aza drew a leadoff walk in the fifth and scored on Adam Eaton's triple to the warning track in right-center to make it 2-0, but Eaton was thrown out at home plate on Gordon Beckham's grounder to third.
Chicago pushed its lead to 4-0 in the seventh, chasing Jimenez from the game.
After Viciedo walked leading off and De Aza doubled, both runners scored on Flowers' hit to the left-field wall. Flowers was originally ruled safe on a slide at second base but the call was overturned on an Orioles challenge. Jimenez was replaced by Brad Brach after giving up a single to Eaton.
The Orioles are 4-12 in Jimenez's last 16 starts. That now includes a 1-7 mark at home ... Jimenez had six strikeouts ... De Aza reached up at the wall in left field to steal a potential home run from Cruz in the second inning ... Cruz tied Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion for the MLB lead in homers ... The Orioles will continue an 11- game homestand with a four-game series against Tampa Bay beginning Friday ... The White Sox finish an 11-game road trip with a four-game series in Toronto starting Thursday.
06/26 02:05:20 ET