Crashing the party

The Baltimore Sun

The Orioles had no intention of being anyone's homecoming opponent last night.

Held without a base runner through four innings by Severna Park native Gavin Floyd, the Orioles rallied to tie the game in the ninth, and Adam Jones lined a single to left in the 10th to score Kevin Millar and provide a 6-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox before an announced 13,676 at Camden Yards.

Millar drew a leadoff walk against left-hander Boone Logan. Luke Scott concluded a nine-pitch at-bat with another walk and, after Aubrey Huff flied to deep left, Jones pulled a ball down the line to set off a wild celebration.

"I thought Aubrey had the hit right before that. He smoked that ball," Jones said. "Right man, right time."

For most of the game, the Orioles were on the wrong side. The White Sox took a 5-2 lead in the eighth inning on Carlos Quentin's second home run, but the Orioles kept chipping away.

They scored an unearned run in the eighth on Scott's double after Millar struck out and reached first base on catcher A.J. Pierzynski's error, and they pulled even against closer Bobby Jenks in the ninth when Brian Roberts doubled with two outs to score Guillermo Quiroz, and Melvin Mora singled.

"When we tied the game," manager Dave Trembley said, "we knew we were going to win."

By the 10th inning, the Orioles (9-7) had run out of bench players and were forced to move Mora to shortstop and Huff to third. They no longer had a designated hitter, so the pitcher would have batted. But it wouldn't have been closer George Sherrill, whose turn was coming up. Steve Trachsel and Adam Loewen were preparing in the indoor cage.

"You do what you've got to do to win the game," Trembley said.

It wasn't enough for Floyd to go home again. He also wanted to own the place. And he did for a while, until Millar reached on an infield single leading off the fifth. Nick Markakis hit a two-run homer in the sixth to tie the game - both runs were unearned - but Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie surrendered back-to-back shots to begin the seventh.

Floyd, a Mount St. Joseph graduate, took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning Saturday, and he flirted with perfection last night before Joe Crede failed to handle Millar's hard one-hopper. Floyd walked Scott and planted a 92-mph fastball in Jones' back, but he escaped the jam.

"I was excited to be here," said Floyd, who allowed two hits and struck out four in six innings. "But once you get that ball in your hand and you start getting out on the field, it doesn't matter. It's my game and I want to go out there and win."

He was in position to do so after Quentin and Crede homered in succession off Guthrie, who left the game after the second ball touched down in the left-field seats. Quentin also connected off reliever Dennis Sarfate in the eighth.

Guthrie allowed two runs in the second inning, only one of them earned because of Roberts' error. He retired 13 of 15 batters heading into the seventh, but didn't get another out.

Meanwhile, Floyd began by striking out Roberts with a 91-mph fastball, did the same to Scott in the second and breezed through the third by striking out Jones on a 79-mph slider and retiring Quiroz with a 92-mph fastball and Luis Hernandez with an 82-mph changeup. The Orioles couldn't sit on one pitch, and they sure couldn't hit any of them.

They went down quietly again in the fourth. The real noise didn't come until much later.

"It shows we're not going to give up and we're not going to give in," Trembley said. "You've got to find a way to get it done."

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