Monday, August 24, 2009

CHICAGO (AP) | Brian Roberts liked what he saw from the Baltimore Orioles in their first series win since the All-Star break. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was less than pleased with his team’s performance.

Roberts had three hits, Nolan Reimold hit a two-run homer and the Orioles beat Mark Buehrle and Chicago 5-4 on Sunday.

“It was good for us, certainly, to come in here against a team that’s battling for a playoff spot and to play the way we did,” Roberts said. “I think that’s a great sign for us. It’s not all about wins and losses right now. We hate losing. Everybody hates losing. But we do have to look at the big picture, and the big picture is playing good baseball and getting these young guys some experience.”

Jason Berken (3-11) won for just the second time since May 26. The rookie right-hander allowed three runs, two earned, and five hits in 5 2/3 innings.

The White Sox remained 2 1/2 games back of AL Central-leading Detroit, which lost 9-4 at Oakland. But Guillen was upset with how his team’s offense has been performing.

“We have a month and half to go, maybe less than that, and if our offense continues like that, good luck,” he said. “It’s going to be hard for us to be there at the end. Last week I said we would be in the pennant race with these bunch of guys; I don’t see it today.”

Buehrle (11-7) continued to struggle, yielding five runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He is 0-4 with a 6.22 ERA in six starts since his perfect game against the Rays on July 23.

“I’m making some pitches, and they’re finding some holes, and then when you make a mistake they’re hitting the ball hard,” he said. “It’s just one of those funks I’m in, and I need to come out of it sooner than later.”

The White Sox split their six-game homestand against the Royals and Orioles and open an 11-game road trip in Boston on Monday. The difficult stretch also includes a three-game series against the Yankees, a three-game set at Minnesota and a makeup game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

“Like I said, I don’t want people to take this wrong way, about the pitcher [we faced], but with the offense we have we’re better than this,” Guillen said. “We’re going to face the big boys in [one] day, good luck.”

Buehrle said the upcoming road trip likely will decide the White Sox’s season.

“Hopefully we can go at least .500 or better,” he said. “If we go under .500 it’s going to be tough to dig ourselves out of the hole.”

Felix Pie also homered for the Orioles. Roberts reached base for the 25th consecutive game and is batting .356 during the streak.

Adam Jones singled in a run in the first but was replaced by Pie in the bottom half after his back started bothering him.

Kam Mickolio pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, Danys Baez pitched a scoreless eighth and Jim Johnson finished for his sixth save in nine opportunities. A.J. Pierzynski drove in a run with a groundout before Johnson struck out pinch hitter Mark Kotsay with a runner on second to end the game.

“I wish I know what was going on,” Guillen said. “Every time we had something going… a double-play ball. We have runners in scoring position… strike out. So many bad things happened out there.”

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