James Shields ran into Manny Machado at the wrong time.
Shields had his worst outing of the season on Sunday afternoon and Machado homered three times as the Baltimore Orioles routed the White Sox 10-2 in front of 31,040 at U.S. Cellular Field. The right-hander allowed eight earned runs and six hits, including four home runs, in 1 1/3 innings and the White Sox dropped back to a season-worst five games under .500.
Jose Abreu doubled, singled and homered in the loss. J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis also homered for Baltimore.
“I was pretty much bad all-around,” Shields said. “I wasn’t in my spots, I was leaving the ball out over the plate and they were capitalizing. You can’t do that to this team — they’re too good of a team and I’ve got to do a better job today overall. There’s no excuse — no excuse whatsoever for that today.”
Shields, who allowed 32 runs (31 earned) in a four-game stretch earlier this season, finished with a Game Score of minus-15. His previous worst this season was minus-1 when he allowed 10 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings on May 31 for the San Diego Padres, his final start before he was traded to the White Sox.
Much like those efforts, it didn’t take long to determine Shields didn’t have it.
After a one-out single by Hyun Soo Kim, Machado blasted a 90-mph fastball out to center from Shields to put the Orioles ahead by two runs. Shields hit the next batter (Chris Davis) and walked another but escaped without further damage.
“If it's not there it's not like he's throwing 98 and that makes up for it,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He's got to locate. I know he was upset with the first one Manny hit that came back over the plate. You've got a guy that was extremely hot today and is one of the best players in the game. You can't make mistakes like that. (Machado) just single-handedly put us in a hole.”
Shields wasn’t as lucky in the second inning as J.J. Hardy’s solo homer with one out made it 3-0. Shields then hit a batter and walked another before Machado deposited a cut-fastball into the left-field bullpen for a three-run homer.
Davis followed with a homer and a Steve Pearce double knocked Shields out of the contest. He walked two and hit two as he dropped to 5-14.
“It’s been a crazy season for me,” Shields said. “But like I said, today – there’s no excuse for that. I’ve got to do a better job of focusing and making my pitches and we’ve just got to move on from there.”
Machado also blasted a two-run homer off reliever Matt Albers in the third inning as Baltimore took a 10-0 lead. He became only the second player in major league history to homer in the first, second and third innings, matching Carl Reynolds, who previously accomplished the feat on July 2, 1930.
Prior to Machado, Paul Konerko was the last player to homer three times in a game at U.S. Cellular Field when he did it July 7, 2009. Justin Morneau was the last visitor to hit three homers at U.S. Cellular Field when he did it in the second game of a doubleheader on July 6, 2007.
Machado grounded into a double play against Tommy Kahnle in the fifth and flew out against Carson Fulmer in the seventh inning. He also grounded out in the ninth inning against Michael Ynoa in his bid to become the 17th player in baseball history with four homers in the same game.
“I’ve been trying to find my swing,” Machado said. “This whole series I’ve been kind of squaring up some balls, which is fun. Today they finally went out the ballpark. The ball was going out a little bit, so that helped. It was an overall great day.”