BALTIMORE (AP) — Stevie Wilkerson hit his first major league homer, John Means pitched five effective innings on his birthday and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 4-3 Wednesday night to secure their second winning streak of the season.
Baltimore won two of three to capture its first series since April 1-3 in Toronto. The two straight victories are the Orioles’ most since a four-game run that began at Yankee Stadium on March 30.
Wilkerson’s second-chance solo shot off Ervin Santana (0-2) put the Orioles up 4-1 in the fourth. Earlier in the at-bat, Wilkerson walked to first base after apparently being hit by a pitch, but a replay proved otherwise. Three pitches later, he capped his 53rd big league at-bat by sending a hanging slider into the center-field bleachers.
Making his third major league start, Means (3-2) marked his 26th birthday with a career-high six strikeouts. The lefty allowed one run and four hits.
Mychal Givens worked the final two innings for his first save. After allowing an RBI double to José Abreu in the ninth, Givens threw a wild pitch. The right-hander then got Yoan Moncada to hit a two-out grounder to shortstop Richie Martin, who made a nice grab moving to his left before throwing to first.
Martin had entered as a defensive replacement in the top of the inning.
Still trying to regain the form that enabled him to win 16 games for Minnesota in 2017, Santana gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings. The 36-year-old has a 9.45 ERA in three starts with Chicago after going winless last year during an injury-riddled season with the Twins.
The Orioles went up 2-0 in the first when Dwight Smith Jr. and Renato Núñez hit successive two-out doubles and Rio Ruiz delivered an RBI single.
Down 4-1, the White Sox got a run in the sixth and threatened for more. After Baltimore reliever Evan Phillips hit Ryan Cordell with a pitch to force in a run, Jose Rondon struck out and Paul Fry came in to retire pinch-hitter Nicky Delmonico on a grounder.
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