BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Orioles keep doing the improbable under Buck Showalter.
Former Mariner Adam Jones singled in the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning, and the resurgent Orioles walked off with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
Baltimore improved to 4-0 since Showalter took over as manager earlier this week. The four-game run matches its longest winning streak of the season and represents one-eighth of the total victories the team had before Showalter arrived.
Not only that, but Friday’s win also gave the Orioles a 4-54 record when scoring fewer than four runs.
Is Showalter really the difference? If nothing else, his reputation for not tolerating mistakes has gotten the attention of his players.
“People are on their P’s and Q’s and playing the game,” Jones said. “We’re just playing the game smarter, not really giving them too many outs. We’re making all the double plays, the small things that we weren’t doing. Just playing the game smarter, I would say.”
The victory was the 836th of Showalter’s career, moving him past Don Zimmer into sole possession of 64th place on the career list. He took none of the credit for the last four.
“So far, so good,” Showalter said. “The guys are playing hard and getting a return on it. I’m happy for them.”
Nick Markakis had a season-high four hits for the Orioles.
It was the third loss in 12 games for the first-place White Sox, whose lone run came on a homer by Gordon Beckham.
“We fell short offensively tonight. It was a well-played, well-pitched game,” Chicago’s Mark Kotsay said. “We were on the losing end, which we have to deal with.”
Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen hadn’t faced Baltimore before this series, so he was reluctant to say whether Showalter has helped improve the team with the worst record in the major leagues.
“The manager (doesn’t) make baseball teams; they make them play better,” Guillen said.