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Post-game notes after Orioles third straight win: Britton says callus no big deal, Markakis gets big hit

A game that the Orioles led 6-0 after the top of the fifth inning got far too interesting for their liking, but closer Kevin Gregg shut the door in the ninth for his fifth save and the visitors beat the reeling Chicago White Sox, 6-4, at U.S. Cellular Field.

Jim Johnson allowed a pinch-hit, two-run homer to Adam Dunn in the eighth and Gregg allowed the first two White Sox to reach in the ninth. However, he struck out Paul Konerko looking for the first out. He then fanned Alex Rios looking on a 3-2 pitch that barely even flirted with the strike zone. Rios was ejected for arguing home plate umpire Cory Blaser's call and frankly, I don't blame him. Gregg then got A.J. Pierzynski to ground out for the game's final out. The White Sox have lost five straight and 15 of 18.

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"Definitely not the situation I wanted to be in, put myself [in] with two guys on nobody out," Gregg said. "That part of the order is not like, 'Woo hoo, this is what I want to do.' But I had to execute my pitches and trust that I can execute those pitches in those situations."

Orioles rookie left-hander Zach Britton got the win. He allowed one run on five hits and three walks over six innings to improve to 5-1 with a 2.63 ERA over six starts. Britton probably would have gone another inning, but he was struggling with a callus on his pitching hand. He had it removed after leaving the game.

"It's not a huge deal," Britton said. "[Manager Buck Showalter] just said he wanted to kill it before anything happened. It's something I get from the way I hold my sinker. It's a unique grip

anyway so it kind of gives me a pretty good callus every now and again. [It's] kind of what happened again."

The Orioles scored six runs in six innings against Annapolis native and former Mount St. Joseph standout Gavin Floyd. Luke Scott and Mark Reynolds both hit home runs, and Scott added an RBI single in the Orioles' five-run fifth. The big hit in that inning was Nick Markakis' bases-loaded clearing double. Markakis had been 0 for his last 16 with runners in scoring position before that at-bat.

"It definitely felt good. Look at my numbers with guys in scoring position. How can it not feel good?," Markakis siad. "I felt like it was a big hit in the game and it pushed us up there."

With the victory, the Orioles improved to 13-13. They are at the .500 mark for the first time since April 15 when they were 6-6. They've also won five of their past six games.

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