White Sox

Orioles rout White Sox in historic game


Orioles rout White Sox in historic game

BALTIMORE — Jeff Samardzija and the White Sox defense got off to a rough start and Wednesday afternoon’s historic game was effectively over in quick fashion.

Without a soul in attendance other than scouts and media members, the Baltimore Orioles scored six times in the first inning and rolled to an 8-2 win over the White Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

After citywide unrest Monday resulted in the cancellation of the first two games of the series, Samardzija took the loss Wednesday at the first game in Major League Baseball history to be closed to the public. Samardzija allowed eight runs (seven earned) and 10 hits in five innings while Ubaldo Jimenez pitched seven dominant innings for the Orioles.

“This was a weird day,” Samardzija said. “I’m not going to put too much into how we played today. It was an awkward situation where we sat around for a few days so we have to get back into a little rhythm and play some games in a row and keep going, keep working.”

With about 50-75 fans cheering and chanting from beyond the gates in left-center field and another dozen on hotel balconies across the way, the White Sox and Orioles finally played after games on Monday and Tuesday were cancelled in the aftermath of Monday’s riots. In deference to law enforcement efforts, the Orioles and White Sox agreed to play in front of an empty stadium.

[MORE WHITE SOX: White Sox, Orioles have mixed emotions about making MLB history]

After Jimenez struck out two batters in a scoreless first inning, the Orioles offense picked up the energy. Coming off an 18-run outburst on Sunday, the Orioles took advantage of several freebies in the first.

Samardzija issued a leadoff walk to Alejandro De Aza but appeared to get a double play-ball off the bat of Jimmy Paredes only to have Jose Abreu throw high to second base. Chris Davis followed a Delmon Young single and an Adam Jones’ RBI sacrifice fly with a three-run home run on to Eutaw Street — only the 80th ball to ever reach the street beyond right field.

As Davis’ shot traveled out of the park, Orioles’ play-by-play man Gary Thorne could be heard yelling his home run call with no crowd to drown out the noise.

Everth Cabrera later doubled in a run and Caleb Joseph had an RBI single for the Orioles, who grabbed a 6-0 lead.

“Today started off bad and got worse,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It was just right from the beginning. You give them opportunities. They take advantage of it. I don’t think we were all that selective offensively either. It was just a weird day. You move on and get ready for the next one.”

Pitching with a cushion against an aggressive offense, Jimenez was extremely efficient. He faced the minimum in six of seven innings and only got into trouble once after his defense struggled in the fifth inning.

[RELATED: Baltimore unrest puts things in perspective for White Sox]

That’s when the White Sox were able to break through for a pair of runs. Machado, who homered in the fifth inning and finished a triple shy of the cycle, made a throwing error that allowed Adam LaRoche to score. Geovany Soto also had an RBI groundout as the White Sox got within 7-2 in the fifth.

But Samardzija gave up one last run on Machado’s homer in the bottom of the fifth and the White Sox offense only sent 13 batters to the plate over the final four innings.

“I tried to do too much,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “Sometimes you have bad games like this and you have to move on. It was a very awful game for me on offense and defense but that kind of thing happens.

“(The atmosphere) was kind of weird, but you can’t blame that on the crowd.”

Nothing could have truly prepared both teams’ players for what they would face. Each team hit the field in the 30 minutes leading up to first pitch with pregame music blaring over the sound system.

But once the game began, an eerie vibe dominated the scene as the two teams took the field at 2:05 p.m. EST in front of 45,971 empty seats. A prerecorded National Anthem was played and so was the Seventh Inning Stretch. Walkup music accompanied each player to the plate.

[NBC SHOP: Get the latest White Sox gear here]

But in between, players could hear everything on the field from the opposing dugouts to normal chatter to Hawk Harrelson and Thorne calling the game from the broadcast booth above.

Fans outside the stadium did their best to support the Orioles, chanting “Manny, Manny” when Machado homered and a number of “Let’s Go O’s.” Foul balls banged off empty seats and the occasional police and news choppers hovered overhead.

But perhaps it wasn’t what they heard that offered the strangest comparison — the crowd.

Whereas Machado’s fifth-inning homer into the left-center field bullpen normally would have been accompanied by a roar, the only sound was the delayed cheers of fans beyond the gate and a few claps from the Orioles.

“You hear some of the announcing when you got up there,” second baseman Micah Johnson said. “That’s how quiet it was. You hear fans outside the stadium, literally everything. I’m sure you heard me like ‘No!’ on strike three. It’s weird. I said  ‘My bad’ out loud.”

“There’s no comparison.”


White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park


White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

For many White Sox fans, Comiskey Park was their introduction to White Sox baseball when they were young. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey, and Chris Kamka share their memories of the old ballpark. Among them: Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl, Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball, Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game, they discuss the final game ever played there and read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

You can listen to the whole thing right here, or in the embedded player below.

8:26 - Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl.

10:11 - Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball.

12:49 - Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game

15:11 - The guys talk about the final game ever played there.

16:44 - The guys read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.


'White Sox to the Letter'


'White Sox to the Letter'

Inspired by Ogden Nash’s 1949 poem “A Lineup for Yesterday”


A is for A.J.

Once punched in the face

If strike three ain’t caught

He’ll steal first base


B is for Baines

Who’s known to speak gently

When asked if he’ll homer

He said, “Evidently!”


C for Comiskey

The old baseball yard

When it was torn down

I took it quite hard


D is for Donkey

I mean Adam Dunn

He’d strike out or walk

Or hit a home run


E is for Eloy

He isn’t here yet

Though an All-Star career

Is still a good bet


F is for Fisk

The incomparable Pudge

From his perch behind home

Not an inch he would budge


G is for Gold

G is for Glove

Aparicio is

Who I’m thinking of


H is for Hawk

Unforgettable voice

Stretch! Dadgummit!

And don’t stop now boys!


I for Iguchi

Second base man

Won World Series

Returned to Japan


J is for Jackson

The legend still grows

A home run or touchdown

Only Bo knows


K is for Kopech

Speed, he has plenty

He’ll pile up strikeouts

In two thousand twenty


L is for Luke

Old Aches and Pains

Hit .388

That record remains


M is for Mark

As in Mister Buehrle

When he takes the mound

The game will end early


N is for no-no

Wilson Alvarez, Humber

Two by Mark Buehrle

Too many to number


O for Orestes

Miñoso’s real name

Not in the Hall

And that’s a real shame


P is for Paulie

He gave it his all

At the championship rally

Gave Jerry the ball


Q for Quintana

Kept coming up short

Only because

Of no run support


R is for Richie

But please call him Dick

A dangerous man

When he’s swinging the stick


S is for shoes

Which were not worn by Joe

In 1919

Please say it ain’t so


T is for Thomas

Amazing career

He went to the Hall

And brewed Big Hurt Beer


U for Uribe

He played everywhere

When the ball left his bat

Hands waved in the air


V is for Veeck

He knew how to sell

Fireworks, promotions

And Eddie Gaedel


W is for William

Or Bill; He was Beltin’

So hot was the corner

Third baseman was Melton


X is for Fox

At least the last letter

Among second basemen

Nobody was better


Y is for Yolmer

He has sneaky power

The master of giving

A Gatorade shower


Z is for Zisk

And others I missed

Unable to fit

In my White Sox list