CHICAGO – The Orioles open a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox on the South Side tonight at U.S. Cellular Field.
The Orioles are coming off their first series loss since dropping two of three in Oakland on July 18-20, and they have won eight of their last nine series openers since July 21.
The Orioles’ 36 road wins lead the American League and are tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for the second most in baseball -- the Los Angeles Dodgers lead the majors with 40 road wins.
After losing two of three in Cleveland this weekend, the Orioles are 10-16 against the AL Central. They’re 60-36 against the rest of baseball. They took two of three against the White Sox back in June at Camden Yards.
After hitting two homers in Sunday’s win in Cleveland, the Orioles lead the majors with 154 homers and are on pace for 204 this season. That would give them 200 homers for three straight seasons for the first time in club history.
Right-hander Bud Norris will take the mound for the Orioles tonight. He is 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA in two career starts against the White Sox. Both starts came in 2013, one for the Houston Astros and one for the Orioles. He will be making his first career start at U.S. Cellular Field.
White Sox left-hander Chris Sale is 0-1 with a 5.28 ERA in eight career outings (two starts) against the Orioles.
Sale allowed two runs and 11 hits in six innings -- striking out three, walking one and hitting a batter -- against the Orioles on June 23 at Camden Yards. The Orioles won, 6-4.
Sale’s numbers against the Orioles are a little deceiving because his first six outings against the Orioles came in relief, and he allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings.
Sale is holding left-handed hitters to a .122 batting average. He’s holding right-handed hitters to a .215 average. He is 7-2 with a 2.30 ERA in 12 home starts.
Orioles outfielder-designated hitter Nelson Cruz is 5-for-11 with one homer and three RBIs against Sale. He is starting in left field tonight.
Other items of note:
* Nick Markakis has hit safely in nine straight games, going 14-for-36 with three doubles, six runs, six walks and one RBI since Aug. 7. In the month of August, he is hitting .400/.486/.567 and has hit safely in 14 of 15 games.
* Catcher Caleb Joseph has thrown out 16 of 39 potential basestealers and his 41 percent caught stealing percentage is the second-best in baseball among catchers with at least 10 steal attempts, trailing only the St. Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina (16-for-34, 47.1 percent).
Here are tonight's lineups:
Nick Markakis RF
Steve Pearce 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz LF
Delmon Young DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis 1B
Caleb Joseph C
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Bud Norris RHP
Alejandro De Aza LF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Jose Abreu 1B
Adam Dunn DH
Avisail Garcia RF
Conor Gillaspie 3B
Tyler Flowers C
Jordan Danks CF
Gordon Beckham 2B
Chris Sale LHP