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Orioles lose starter Wade Miley in first inning of 4-2 win over White Sox

The Orioles were in another early pitching pickle after Wade Miley was hit by two batted balls and left after 12 pitches Friday.

Orioles left-hander Wade Miley left the game just 12 pitches into the first inning of Friday's series-opening 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox after back-to-back batters stung line drives up the middle and hit him.

With two outs in the first inning, Miley took a line drive on to his left forearm off the bat of first baseman José Abreu. After getting attention on the mound from manager Buck Showalter and assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel, Miley convinced them he could stay in the game.

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Two pitches later, Avisaíl García hit a line drive off Miley's thigh, and his protestations were denied. Ebel came out to the mound and brought Miley back to the dugout with him. The Orioles later announced Miley was removed with a left wrist contusion.

The balls were scorched, according to Statcast data. Abreu's was measured at 103.1 mph off the bat, and García's at 102.1 mph.

Miley's few months with the Orioles have seen him in the line of fire on the mound often. He left his Orioles debut last August after being hit in the leg, and left a spring training start this March after a line drive pinballed off his arm and chest.

Gabriel Ynoa relieved Miley, and got out of the inning on just two pitches. He hadn't pitched since Saturday and gave the Orioles length to help cover the early removal.

It's a significant challenge for the team in what has been a challenging week. The Orioles needed seven innings of relief Wednesday from Richard Bleier and Ubaldo Jiménez after home plate umpire Sam Holbrook ejected Kevin Gausman in the second inning at Fenway Park.

But a solid performance by spot starter Tyler Wilson and Ynoa's terrific emergency appearance stabilized the situation.

"Every night before we leave my office, Roger [McDowell] and I and Alan [Mills] -- I've done it for years -- we sit down and we go over the bullpen and we say, 'OK, if this guy gets hit by a line drive first pitch, where are we going?'" Showalter said. "Yesterday, as we got on the plane, it was Ynoa.

"It's one thing to be available to pitch long. It's another thing to be effective enough to pitch long, which he was."

Ynoa dueled former Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez into the seventh inning and both pitched well, but the Orioles came away with their second straight win after scoring a couple of much-needed insurance runs in the eighth inning.

Chris Davis broke out of a 2-for 21 slump with a solo home run in the third inning, two singles, a walk and two runs. The homer was his fourth of the year and his first since April 14.

The Orioles scored their first run of the game in the first inning when Gonzalez struggled early with his control and hit Jonathan Schoop with a pitch with the bases loaded. Davis' homer made it 2-0 and the score stayed that way until the White Sox scored a run in the eighth.

Joey Rickard got that run back with an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth and the Orioles added their fourth run when shortstop Tim Anderson bobbled a grounder by J.J. Hardy for an error.

That created some margin for error for Brad Brach, who gave up a run before converting his sixth save of the year. He returned to the closer role because Zach Britton suffered a recurrence of the forearm problems that put him on the disabled list.

Ynoa's surprise appearance: Minor league call-up Ynoa knew he needed to be available in just about any situation when he was called up Thursday, but he couldn't have imagined that he would be called on to pitch with two outs in the first inning of a scoreless game. The two line drives that knocked Miley out of the game turned Ynoa into the ultimate spot starter, and he responded by carrying the shutout into the seventh inning. He pitched six innings, allowed no runs on six hits and got a nice ovation from the crowd when he left in the seventh.

"When the starter got hit the first time, I started getting ready for that," Ynoa said through interpreter Ramon Alarcon. "And after that it was just a mind game. I just started to prepare mentally for the game.

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"I felt excellent. I felt very good. I thank God for the opportunity. I was able to keep the ball low all night, so I'm really thankful for that."

Renewing acquaintances: Obviously, Gonzalez is not a stranger in Baltimore. He came out of nowhere to help the Orioles reach the playoffs in 2012 and finished with double-digit wins totals the next two seasons before struggling with injuries in 2015. He was released by the club before last season and has regained his footing with the White Sox.

Showalter acknowledged his contribution before Friday night's start and said Gonzalez has been pitching for the White Sox this year like he did when he was healthy for the Orioles.

Gonzalez, who came into the game with a 3-1 record and 3.27 ERA, held the Orioles to two runs over 6 2/3 innings, giving up six hits and striking out five.

Smith rolls a seven: When Seth Smith singled to open the Orioles' half of the first inning, it was the seventh straight plate appearance in which he had reached base. He walked in his final trip in the opener of the Boston Red Sox series and had four hits and a walk in the series finale. He made a brief appearance in Wednesday night's game when he was announced as a pinch hitter and then replaced by another pinch hitter after a pitching change. Smith made an out in his second at-bat Friday, but delivered another multihit performance to raise his average above .300.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

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