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Thome matches career high in RBI as White Sox beat Orioles

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Jim Thome is back to his old form after suffering through an injury plague season in 2005 with the Phillies.

Thome hit two homers and matched his career high with six RBI to lead the Chicago White Sox to an 11-8 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.

"He's a monster. It's just unbelievable what that guy can do when he is swinging the bat well, if you throw it over the plate it's going to be hit out. It's just that simple," said teammate Paul Konerko. "He's got all those home runs for a reason. We're just glad he is on our side. It's a great thing because he had a rough year last year with the injury, he's a first class guy and everybody is so happy for him."

Thome hit a grand slam in the third inning and a two-run shot in the fifth and is tied with David Ortiz for the American League lead with 29 homers.

"It's a long season. You understand that there is going to be those ups and downs and with the lineup we have, the fortunate thing is we got guys that can step up all down through our lineup and I think that's been a big key for us," said Thome. "It's kind of contagious when or two guys get going, it seems that the other guys want to join in and it's great."

The White Sox took three of four games from the Orioles to win their ninth consecutive series and now have won 16 of their last 20 games.

Baltimore has dropped six of its last eight games.

Chicago also got back-to-back homers from Jermaine Dye and A.J. Pierzynski in the seventh inning. Dye hit a three-run homer to left off Orioles reliever Todd Williams and then two pitches later, Pierzynski homered to right.

Trailing 11-5 in the ninth, the Orioles rallied for three runs with two outs. Miguel Tejada had an RBI double and Jeff Conine had a two-run single. Matt Thornton pitched the ninth for his first save in two chances.

White Sox starter Javier Vazquez (9-4) stuck around long enough to earn the victory. He pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs and five hits.

With a 3-0 lead in the third inning, Baltimore starter Russ Ortiz started to unravel in part to a costly throwing error by Tejada. With one out in the inning, Juan Uribe hit a routine grounder to Tejada at short, but he made a high throw to first that Kevin Millar couldn't handle allowing Uribe to reach.

Brian Anderson and Scott Podsednik followed with back-to-back singles, loading the bases. Then Ortiz walked Alex Cintron on a 3-2 count scoring Uribe. Thome then belted his eighth career grand slam, giving the White Sox a 5-3 lead.

"I was ready for anything, I really wasn't thinking about any type of pitch. I was just thinking about staying through the middle of the field and not pulling off the ball," said Thome.

In the fifth inning, after Cintron's single, Thome hit an opposite field homer to left, making it 7-3. It was Thome's 37th multihomer game and his second of the season.

Thome's grand slam was measured 447n feet.

"I think he is the strongest (hitter in baseball) and he is (tied) for the league in home runs. I don't think you see any chip shots with him, every one is like 400-plus feet," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.

Russ Ortiz started for the second time for Baltimore since signing a contract on June 25 after being designated for assignment by Arizona on June 13 following 1 1/2 frustrating seasons.

After earning a four-year, $33 million free agent deal following a 21-7 season with Atlanta in 2003, Ortiz was 5-16 with a 7.00 ERA in 28 starts with Arizona.

The Diamondbacks cut Ortiz loose despite owing him almost $22 million. Ortiz was 0-5 in six starts this season.

Ortiz (0-1) allowed seven runs in five innings.

"Except for obviously Jim Thome's at-bats, gosh, I felt great, I felt a lot better than last time," said Ortiz. "Two pitches to him basically did us in."

Tejada had helped give Baltimore a 3-0 lead with an RBI double in the third inning.

He finished 3-for-5 with three doubles and two RBI.

Notes

  • Thome's last multihomer game came May 9 at Cleveland. Thome has had four games with six RBI. The most recent one came on June 8, 2004, against the White Sox as a member of the Phillies.
  • Before the game, Orioles designated OF Luis Matos for assignment and purchased the contract of OF Luis Terrero from Triple-A Ottawa.
  • Dye hit his 22nd homer of the season and extended his hitting streak to 10-games.
  • Pierzynski hit his sixth homer of the season.
  • White Sox have hit seven grand slams this season.
  • Thome's last grand slam came July 28, 2002 against Detroit as a member of the Indians.
 
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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Jim Thome's third-inning grand slam is the first of his two homers against the Orioles.  (AP)
Jim Thome's third-inning grand slam is the first of his two homers against the Orioles. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

J. Thome
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 6
Baltimore

M. Tejada
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 

Related Video

Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B5000002 .305
Melvin Mora, 3B5100023 .287
Miguel Tejada, SS5232000 .315
Jeff Conine, LF5023001 .257
Ramon Hernandez, C4110011 .273
Corey Patterson, CF5021023 .285
Javy Lopez, DH4000014 .268
Kevin Millar, 1B3221100 .252
Brandon Fahey, RF2110000 .271
   a- Luis Terrero, PH-RF1000012 .000
   b- Howie Clark, PH0100100 .143
Totals3981172716 
a-struck out for Fahey in the 6th
b-walked for Terrero in the 9th
Batting
2B - Miguel Tejada 3 (19, Vazquez, Vazquez, Politte)
RBI - Miguel Tejada 2 (60), Jeff Conine 3 (26), Corey Patterson (35), Kevin Millar (33)
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Tejada (26), Jeff Conine 2 (5), Kevin Millar (8)
SB - Jeff Conine (3, 2nd base off Vazquez/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jeff Conine 1
DP - B. Roberts-Tejada-Millar
E - Miguel Tejada (12, Wild throw)
Baltimore Orioles
Russ Ortiz (L,0-6) 5876212 7.88
Chris Britton 1000020 2.43
Kurt Birkins 0.2111000 3.46
Todd Williams 0.1333002 4.64
Sendy Rleal 1100020 4.28
Pitches-Strikes - Russ Ortiz 93-48, Chris Britton 14-10, Kurt Birkins 6-4, Todd Williams 17-11, Sendy Rleal 26-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Russ Ortiz 7-6
Batters Faced - Russ Ortiz 24, Chris Britton 3, Kurt Birkins 3, Todd Williams 4, Sendy Rleal 4
Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF5120002 .269
Alex Cintron, 2B4321101 .285
Jim Thome, DH4226001 .293
Paul Konerko, 1B4120000 .315
Jermaine Dye, RF4113001 .321
A.J. Pierzynski, C4111010 .325
Joe Crede, 3B4010000 .300
Juan Uribe, SS3100120 .239
Brian Anderson, CF4120021 .182
Totals36111311256 
Batting
2B - Joe Crede (17, Ortiz)
HR - Jim Thome 2 (29, Ortiz, Ortiz), Jermaine Dye (22, T. Williams), A.J. Pierzynski (6, T. Williams)
RBI - Alex Cintron (19), Jim Thome 6 (75), Jermaine Dye 3 (61), A.J. Pierzynski (29)
2-OUT RBI - Jermaine Dye 3 (27), A.J. Pierzynski (13)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
E - Alex Cintron (5, Wild throw)
Chicago White Sox
Javier Vazquez (W,9-4) 5.1553120 5.15
David Riske (H,2) 0.1100010 2.41
Neal Cotts (H,12) 1.1000020 2.65
Cliff Politte 1.2433110 8.54
Matt Thornton (S,1) 0.1100010 3.49
HBP - Hernandez (by Javier Vazquez)
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 95-57, David Riske 8-5, Neal Cotts 15-12, Cliff Politte 29-19, Matt Thornton 6-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 8-7, Neal Cotts 1-1, Cliff Politte 2-2
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 24, David Riske 2, Neal Cotts 4, Cliff Politte 10, Matt Thornton 2
Game Information
Attendance - 35266
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Larry Poncino, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Gary Darling