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Chicago at Baltimore

Venue: Oriole Park at Camden Yards

The Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles each have crucial road sets with division rivals looming this weekend, though Thursday's series finale also is important for the playoff hopefuls.

AL Central-leading Chicago seeks a four-game split with Baltimore, which looks keep its hold on the league's second wild-card spot.

The White Sox won for only the second time in seven meetings with the Orioles after Wednesday's 8-1 rout at Camden Yards, scoring four runs in the first inning. Alexei Ramirez went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored, and Dylan Axelrod earned the win with 7 1-3 solid innings.

Chicago (72-57), which dropped the first two of this set, increased its division lead over Detroit to three games ahead of a critical three-game series with the Tigers beginning Friday night.

"(I) put forth my best effort and (got) this team back on a winning track that hopefully carries into (Thursday) and into Detroit as well," Axelrod said before being optioned back to Double-A Birmingham.

Baltimore (71-58), meanwhile, had its hold on the league's second wild-card spot trimmed to one-half game over Tampa Bay with the defeat, and it remained 3 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees, who also lost Wednesday.

The Orioles, whose Nos. 2-4 hitters went 0 for 10, have three games at Yankee Stadium starting Friday.

The White Sox will look to win for the eighth time in 10 games with help from Jose Quintana, who has been a pleasant surprise in his rookie season.

Quintana (5-2, 2.86 ERA), though didn't have his best outing Saturday against Seattle, giving up three runs and walking four in 5 2-3 innings of Chicago's 5-4 win after going 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA over his previous three starts.

It also marked the first time the left-hander failed to pitch at least into the seventh inning in seven outings, though both catcher A.J. Pierzynski and manager Robin Ventura were ejected in the third inning for questioning umpire Lance Barrett's strike zone in that game.

"That's what teammates are for," Quintana told the team's official website. "A.J. and Robin coming out and sticking up for myself, for the team. I know things like that end up happening but I'm just glad they stood up."

Quintana will be opposed by Zach Britton, who has been pitching better of late.

Britton (3-1, 5.59) has been solid while winning his last two starts, tossing seven scoreless innings against Detroit on Aug. 18 and giving up two runs in 6 2-3 innings versus Toronto on Friday.

The left-hander has lowered his ERA nearly three runs over his last three outings.

"I would say (I am) a little more confident," Britton told the team's official website. "I feel good out on the mound. Right now I'm executing pitches a lot better. There's still some room for improvement, which is good."

Britton beat the White Sox in his only career start against them, giving up one run in six innings May 1, 2011.

Ventura said Pierzynski, mired in a 0-for-14 slump, will be back in the lineup after getting Wednesday off.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

Jose Quintana, HP
2012 stats
110.0 Innings Pitched 37.0
5-2 Wins-Losses 3-1
2.86 Earned Run Average 5.59
27 Walks 21
62 Strikeouts 28
98 Pitches Per Start 97
Career vs. opponent
- Innings Pitched 6.0
--- Wins-Losses 1-0
- Earned Run Average 1.50

Zach Britton, LHP
weather image  Mostly sunny. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Chi White Sox4th AL Central6168.47318 ½ 5-5 W 1
Baltimore4th AL East6367.485111-9 L 4
vs Zach Britton
vs Jose Quintana

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Game Odds
Chi. White Sox -110 Baltimore 100
Chi White Sox
Z. PutnamGroin
J. HardyGroin
C. RoeShoulder
M. WrightCalf
Series Game Log
Apr 6TBBAL 6-2Tillman Archer 
Apr 7TBBAL 6-5Gausman Karns 
Apr 8TBTB 2-0Odorizzi Gonzalez 
May 1BALTB 2-0Colome Tillman 
May 2BALBAL 4-0Gonzalez Archer 
May 3BALBAL 4-2Hunter Geltz 
May 29BALBAL 2-1O'Day Gomes 
May 30BALTB 3-0Ramirez Chen 
May 31BALTB 9-5Odorizzi Tillman 
Jul 24TBTB 3-1Colome O'Day 
Jul 25TBBAL 5-1Gonzalez Ramirez 
Jul 26TBBAL 5-2Chen Moore 
Aug 31BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 1BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 2BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 17TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 18TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 19TB 6:10 PM EDT  
Sep 20TB 1:10 PM EDT