Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Markakis robbed Conor Gillaspie of a potential go-ahead homer in the seventh and then clubbed a two-run shot to key the following inning in Baltimore's 8-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Jonathan Schoop had a three-run double in the eighth. Markakis went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Steve Pearce also had three hits and an RBI. J.J. Hardy and Nelson Cruz clubbed solo homers for the AL East leaders, who opened a 7 1/2-game advantage on the second-place New York Yankees.
Bud Norris (11-7) was charged with three hits and two runs over seven innings for his career-high 11th win. Norris has won his last three starts.
Chris Sale (10-3) yielded eight hits and three runs, but he did have eight strikeouts in losing his second straight decision. Sale threw 121 pitches in the opener of this three-game set.
"He wasn't necessarily on tonight, but they worked him over pretty good," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Avisail Garcia's two-run single to right scored Alejandro De Aza and Alexei Ramirez in the seventh to get the White Sox within 3-2. Gillaspie was up next and sent a fly ball to right field. Markakis reached his glove over the wall to take away the home run.
"That's the best play of the year," Norris said.
Ronald Belisario retired the first two batters of the eighth inning, but after Hardy singled, Eric Surkamp came in from the bullpen and pegged Chris Davis. Matt Lindstrom walked Caleb Joseph prior to Schoop's double to the gap in left-center. Markakis then homered to right.
"Every game is kind of like a boxing match and you take a couple of blows along the way," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You have to answer back."
Hardy homered to left in the second inning, Pearce doubled in Markakis in the fifth, and Cruz belted his AL-leading 32nd homer to begin the sixth for a 3-0 lead.
Markakis extended his hitting streak to 10 games ... The Orioles are 11-16 against the AL Central ... Baltimore has won six of the last eight meetings ... Pearce was thrown out at home trying to score on an infield hit in the fifth.
08/19 00:26:37 ET
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