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Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Orioles 4, White Sox 3

By Doug Padilla



CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox were swept in a three-game series Wednesday after they fell 4-3 to the Baltimore Orioles.
How it happened: The Orioles powered their way to victory on the strength of three home runs, including one from home-run leader Nelson Cruz. White Sox starter Hector Noesi went seven innings and gave up four runs on seven hits while striking out eight. Avisail Garcia hit a first-inning home run for the White Sox, for his third of the season and first since coming off the disabled list this past weekend. The White Sox had the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the eighth inning, but Orioles reliever Darren O'Day struck out Jose Abreu and Garcia.

What it means: The White Sox were swept for the first time since they lost all four in a series at Minnesota from June 19 to 22. The most recent time they were swept at home was June 13 to 15 against the Kansas City Royals. The White Sox won just once in six tries against the Orioles this season.

Outside the box: The American League home run leaders might have cooled off in the second half of the season, but they were able to deliver in the series. Abreu hit his 32nd home run Tuesday to tie for the AL home run lead. The Orioles’ Cruz then hit his 33rd on Wednesday to regain sole possession of the lead. Neither home run was a cheapie, as Abreu hit a 405-foot shot, while Cruz’s went 386 feet. Cruz leads the major leagues in home runs, as well.

Offbeat: Garcia solved what Adam Dunn and Tyler Flowers could not when his line drive to right bounced off the top of the wall and over the fence for his home run. In July, Dunn hit a drive to left against the Houston Astros that bounced on top of the wall twice before it fell into play for a double. Earlier this month, Tyler Flowers bounced a hit off the top of the right-field wall that went for a triple against the Texas Rangers.

Up next: After a day off Thursday, the White Sox will open a three-game series at New York on Friday with left-hander John Danks (9-8, 4.94 ERA) facing Yankees right-hander Shane Greene (3-1, 2.91) in a 6:05 p.m. CT start from Yankee Stadium.