BALTIMORE — When it comes to energy, Brett Lawrie always has plenty extra left in the tank.
The second baseman’s lively spirit came in handy on Sunday afternoon for a club that played its 19th game in 19 days.
The White Sox tapped into Lawrie’s fuel cell early and took off as they backed Chris Sale in a 7-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in front of 28,803 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Lawrie homered in a third straight game and reached base five times for the White Sox, who knocked Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez out with a five-run, fifth-inning rally. With the effort, the White Sox completed their grueling stretch with a 13-6 mark.
“I’m just being myself, coming here every day with a good, positive attitude, putting music on, getting the boys rolling and having fun,” Lawrie said. “We’re here too much to go through it like it’s a suit-and-tie job.”
Through 26 games, the White Sox have rarely resembled a team that looks as if it’s going through the motions. A bundle of energy who was acquired from the Oakland A’s in December, Lawrie deserves plenty of credit for the team’s never-quit approach.
Whether he’s playing team DJ, attempting trick shots with a soccer ball or keeping the dugout lively, Lawrie has delivered his energy in a variety of ways.
“It’s daily,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “What you see is what you get. It’s full throttle all the way. He’s just been a good influence over here.
“He’s prepared and ready to go every day and enjoys playing.”
Lawrie’s bat jumpstarted the offense again on Sunday with a fourth-inning homer off Jimenez two innings after the White Sox didn’t score with the bases loaded and no outs.
With two outs and no score, Lawrie ripped 1-2 fastball from Jimenez 404 feet to center field for his fourth home run. He has now homered in three straight games for the first time in his career after hitting solo shots on Friday and Saturday.
Suddenly, the White Sox came to life, and the group dinked and dunked Jimenez to death in the fifth inning.
Carlos Sanchez had an RBI groundout with the bases loaded and no outs, and Jose Abreu singled in another to make it 3-0. Melky Cabrera singled in a run with a bloop single, and Jerry Sands parachuted a two-run single into center to knock out Jimenez.
Lawrie walked twice, singled and doubled and reached base in 12 of 31 plate appearances on the road trip.
“He’s kind of a spark, really,” Sale said. “He got it going for us today. Ubaldo is a tough guy, he’s a tough pitcher out there and he was cruising, and a 1-2 count, a homer dead center. The ball really wasn’t flying today either. He’s the guy who gets it started, he’s the guy who keeps the energy going, and hopefully we can maintain that throughout the whole year.”
The White Sox would love for their offense to produce as consistently as it did on the road trip.
The White Sox, who averaged 3.2 runs over their first 19 games, scored at least four runs in five of seven games and averaged 5.86 per contest during that span.
A day after he twice singled in runs, Abreu singled twice more and drew a first-inning walk. He finished the road trip 11-for-29 with six RBIs and four walks.
The outpouring made a laborious day easier for Sale, who needed 107 pitches to complete five innings. Baltimore’s loaded lineup ran a bunch of deep counts against Sale but didn’t accomplish much else.
He stranded at least one runner in each of his first five frames and two each in the first, third and fifth innings. His biggest escape came in the fifth inning, when Sale walked two with one out, including a 12-pitch free pass to Manny Machado. But Sale struck out Mark Trumbo and induced a fly ball out from Adam Jones.
Sale (6-0) struck out six as he allowed a run, six hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings.
“You see how many guys they left on base, and it just seemed like he wasn’t as sharp as he’s been. But even then, he didn’t give up anything,” Ventura said.
Now the team is headed home for its first day of relaxation since April 12.
Lawrie is pleased with the team’s effort over the span, which included a dozen road games, and is ready to deliver more energy against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.
“It’s a long stretch, especially when you only have one off day in the month,” Lawrie said. “It calls for a full-group effort, and when you can do that, it’s a good opportunity for the boys to come out every single day and give it our all.”