MLB: O’s seek third straight win over slumping White Sox

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The Baltimore Orioles wouldn’t mind a normal routine, but they’ve shown the ability to adapt.

That’s important throughout a long season, with the next game coming against the host Chicago White Sox on Saturday afternoon.

Baltimore had a game rained out last week, playing only once in three days. The Orioles had a game suspended earlier this week in St. Louis, and completed the next day. Then Friday night’s matchup with the White Sox had a delayed start and later clutch moments came in the rain.

“(The) rain was annoying and it’s not easy to hit and it’s not easy to keep your spikes clean and the whole thing, but I think our team shows a lot of toughness,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “And gotten tougher over the last few years just because of the environments we play in and the games we played in.”

The Orioles go for their third straight victory in the series with the White Sox, who’ve lost seven of their past eight games.

Baltimore was overflowing with starting pitching a week ago and setting up a possible six-man rotation. Now with Dean Kremer placed on the injured list Friday with a triceps strain after John Means was added to the IL a day earlier with a forearm strain, the surplus of pitching has been dented.

Among the pitching shuffle, Jonathan Heasley was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, while Dillon Tate and Nick Vespi were called up.

So Saturday’s starter wasn’t revealed until after Friday night’s game. The Orioles will go with left-hander Albert Suarez (2-0, 1.78 ERA), who has started only three games this season and hasn’t worked more than three innings since April.

The Orioles have lost each of the past four games in which Suarez has pitched. He has made only one career outing against the White Sox, allowing two runs in two innings of a no-decision in 2017.

Right-hander Erick Fedde (4-1, 3.10) is slotted as Saturday’s starting pitcher for the White Sox. He has worked at least six innings in each of his past three outings, going 2-1 in those games.

Chicago had won four consecutive games started by Fedde until Monday’s 9-3 setback at Toronto, where he allowed five runs in six innings.

Fedde is 2-0 with a 0.52 ERA in three career appearances (two starts) against Baltimore, all while pitching for the Washington Nationals.

Mostly, things have gone from bad to worse for the White Sox. The controversy-filled conclusion to Thursday night’s 8-6 loss to Baltimore didn’t help matters.

Andrew Vaughn getting called out for runner interference was still a hot topic Friday.

“I don’t like the way the play was called,” Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said. “I think it was called inaccurate, in my opinion. … I don’t think any baseball game should end like that.”

The ending Friday was cruel as well, with Orioles center fielder Colton Cowser robbing Tommy Pham of a home run for the final out.

Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman, whose only plate appearance Friday resulted in a game-winning, two-run pinch-hit single in the eighth inning, has driven in five runs across the first two games of the series.

“That’s not an easy spot to hit 100, 101 in the rain,” Hyde said. “To be able to get on time and get on top of a fastball like that shows you how special a player he is.”

Five of the Orioles’ eight hits Friday went for extra bases.

–Field Level Media

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