The Chicago White Sox took advantage of a costly Baltimore error to score four runs in the fifth inning and beat the Orioles 4-3 on Saturday.
The victory, backed by Mark Buehrle’s strong pitching, moved the White Sox (47-43) within one-and-a-half games of the American League Central Division-leading Detroit Tigers (48-41).
“It just seems like everything is clicking for us,” Buehrle (10-3) told reporters after allowing only one run and striking out four in seven-plus innings. “We’re getting some timely hitting. Hopefully, everything keeps going like this and we can get to first.”
An error by Orioles first baseman Ty Wigginton also helped.
Following Alexei Ramirez’s grounder, Wigginton allowed a throw from shortstop Cesar Izturis to skip off his glove and into foul territory, putting Ramirez on first.
“It’s a play that needs to be made,” Wigginton said. “In my opinion, it’s one more error than a first baseman should make all year.”
Three pitches later, Jermaine Dye homered to give the White Sox a 2-1 advantage.
Chicago boosted the lead to 4-1 with five more hits, all consecutive, as A.J. Pierzynski and Gordon Beckham singled home runs.
The White Sox lost two other potential runs when, on consecutive plays, they had runners thrown out at home plate.
Paul Konerko was out when he tried to score off Chris Getz’s single and on the next play, Getz was tagged out at home when he attempted to score from second on Beckham’s single.
“I’ve never seen a guy get thrown out at the plate twice in less than 30 seconds,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “That’s a world record.”
Baltimore closed within 4-3 on run-scoring singles by Nolan Reimold and Brian Roberts in the ninth before Nick Markakis hit into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
YANKEES 2, TIGERS 1
C.C. Sabathia beat All-Star Justin Verlander in a prime pitching matchup that lived up to its billing, and Alex Rodriguez’s pop-fly homer gave the New York Yankees the win over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.
Sabathia (9-6) tossed seven shutout innings, working out of trouble most of the afternoon for his eighth victory in 11 decisions.
Rodriguez’s 571st home run left him two behind Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew for ninth place on the MLB career list. Melky Cabrera legged out an infield single to drive in the second run against Verlander (10-5), who took a three-hit shutout into the seventh inning.
Detroit’s Marcus Thames homered in the eighth off Alfredo Aceves.
BLUE JAYS 6, RED SOX 2
At Toronto, Adam Lind hit a two-run homer and Marc Rzepczynski earned his first MLB win as Toronto ended a three-game skid and snapped Boston’s four-game winning streak.
Jose Bautista added a two-run double for Toronto.
Making his third career start, the left-handed Rzepczynski (1-1) allowed one run and four hits in six innings.
Boston’s Brad Penny (6-4) allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings and has not won in five starts.
In other NL play, it was:
• Angels 11, Athletics 6
• Rays 4, Royals 2
• Mariners 3, Indians 1
• Twins 4, Rangers 1
AP, PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA
Charlie Morton allowed three hits over seven innings, and the San Francisco offense again struggled in rainy Pittsburgh during the Pirates’ 2-0 victory over the Giants in the National League on Saturday.
Morton (2-2) struck out six while pitching his second scoreless outing in his past three starts. He only allowed one runner to advance past first base.