CHICAGO (AP) — Nick Markakis hit a three-run double and Zach Britton pitched six strong innings to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 6-4 win over the struggling Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Luke Scott and Mark Reynolds added solo home runs for Baltimore, who has won five of its last six. The Orioles will try to complete a four-game sweep Monday night.
Britton (5-1) allowed one run on five hits, struck out one and had three walks. The 23-year old rookie left-hander lowered his ERA to 2.63.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was back in the dugout after being suspended two games for tweeting comments about an umpire earlier in the week.
Gavin Floyd (3-2) took the loss for Chicago, which got a pinch-hit homer from Adam Dunn. It was Dunn’s first pinch-homer since April 20, 2003, at Montreal. It cut the Orioles’ lead to 6-4.
Orioles closer Kevin Gregg allowed a leadoff walk to Alexei Ramirez and a single to Carlos Quentin. He rebounded when Paul Konerko took a 2-2 pitch for a strike. After Alex Rios took a third strike, he got into an argument with plate umpire Cory Blaser, who threw him out.
A.J. Pierzynski then grounded out to second to seal Gregg’s fifth save of the season.
The White Sox (10-19) have lost 15 of 18 and also have dropped five in a row overall, seven straight at home and finished April with a club-record 18 losses. Chicago also trails Cleveland by 10 games in the AL Central.
Floyd allowed six runs on seven hits. He struck out five and walked two, and struggled through a five-run fifth inning.
After setting a Baltimore franchise rookie record for most the wins in April, Britton didn’t have many problems against the struggling White Sox offense. His only mistake came in the fifth inning when he gave up a solo homer to Brent Lillibridge.
Scott put the Orioles ahead with two-out solo shot in the fourth inning. It was his fifth of the season.
In the fifth inning, Reynolds tagged Floyd with a leadoff home run to left-center. Felix Pie followed with a triple off the center-field wall. Floyd then gave up back-to-back walks to load the bases and Markakis cleared them with a double to left-center. Markakis later scored on Scott’s single to make it 6-0.
In the second inning with a runner on first and two outs, Orioles shortstop Robert Andino made a diving stop on Brent Morel’s ball and then got up to throw him out at first.
Johnson came on with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh inning. He got Quentin to pop out, then after walking Konerko to force in a run, got Rios to ground out to third to end the inning.
Notes: SS J.J. Hardy, on the 15-day DL with a left oblique, is scheduled to take batting practice in the cages on Monday and Tuesday then on the field Wednesday. … White Sox left-handed hitters Pierzynski and Dunn were not in the starting lineup against Britton. … The White Sox left 11 on.
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