Baltimore at Chicago

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Baltimore (40-49)0021020308142
Chi. White Sox (46-43) «01203420x12132

Thome rocks Orioles with grand slam, three-run bomb

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Jim Thome has reached the stage of his career when every home run, every RBI and every milestone is special.

Fortunately for him and the Chicago White Sox, the milestones are coming pretty often these days.

Thome hit a grand slam and a three-run homer for a career-high seven RBI Friday night, carrying the Chicago White Sox to a 12-8 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

"As you get older ... you definitely savor every moment," said Thome, who turns 39 next month. "You don't know how many more you're going to have so you try to take advantage of it every time. I felt like a little kid again."

He might have felt little but he hit big. His sixth-inning grand slam, which broke open what had been a one-run game, easily cleared the center-field fence and was estimated at 448 feet.

Thome has 557 career homers -- only six fewer than Reggie Jackson, who ranks 12th on baseball's all-time list -- and can tell when he hits one purely.

"You don't feel it off the bat," he said. "When you hit a ball like that, everything kind of stops. It's very special. You get the crowd into it. You come in the dugout, they're all excited and it's a big hit for the team. It's pretty awesome when it happens, almost like time stops."

With 14 RBI in his last three games, Thome increased his career total to 1,545 and passed Harry Heilmann and Willie Stargell into 41st place on baseball's all-time list. His previous single-game best was six; he did that four times, most recently at Baltimore on July 6, 2006 -- which also was when he had hit his last grand slam.

White Sox captain Paul Konerko was stunned that Thome hadn't "stumbled into" a seven-RBI game until Friday.

"Anytime Jim gets a career high at this point it kind of surprises you because he's done so much," Konerko said. "Tonight, he has a tough first couple of at-bats and he hangs right in there and -- Boom! Boom! -- he has a great night. That's Jimmy. He's a monster."

It was 3-all in the fifth when Orioles starter Jason Berken walked Scott Podsednik and Jermaine Dye before hanging a 2-0 pitch that Thome lined over the right-field fence.

"I didn't want to run it to 3-0," Berken said. "I wanted to challenge him with a fastball in, and I left it over the plate."

After Adam Jones' two-run homer off White Sox reliever Scott Linebrink made it 6-5, two Baltimore relievers loaded the bases in the sixth by walking Podsednik and Alexei Ramirez and hitting Dye with a pitch. Thome then launched Danys Baez's waist-high offering for his ninth career grand slam.

Popular for his on-field accomplishments and off-field charity work, Thome got a standing ovation, emerged from the dugout and waved to the fans.

Konerko also homered for the White Sox, who moved within 2½ games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central. John Danks (8-6) allowed three runs in five innings for Chicago, which is 31-21 since starting the season 15-22.

Nick Markakis hit a two-run homer for the Orioles, who have a league-worst 14-28 road record.

Berken (1-7) gave up six runs in 4 1/3 innings and is winless since earning a victory in his May 26 major league debut.

"It didn't look like he finished his pitches and his pitches were up," Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said. "We had some great at-bats and put some [offensive] numbers up, but you've got to give yourself a chance ... and from a pitching standpoint, we didn't do that."

Podsednik reached base five times (three singles, two walks) and scored three runs.

Notes

  • Thome also drew his 1,605th career walk, tying him with Darrell Evans for 11th all-time.
  • It was Thome's 43rd multihomer game.
  • White Sox RHP Bartolo Colon (left knee inflammation) is scheduled to make one more rehab start before coming off the DL and pitching in a July 24 doubleheader at Detroit.
  • Orioles RHP Jeremy Guthrie, who has a viral infection, will start Sunday instead of Saturday as previously scheduled. Brad Bergesen has been moved up a day to start Saturday.
  • The Orioles plan to call up RHP David Hernandez to pitch Monday against the Yankees.
  • White Sox LF Carlos Quentin (left foot plantar fasciitis) is still up to a week away from returning to the team because he isn't running well in rehab games, manager Ozzie Guillen said.
 
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 puts on a show for the South Side fans, driving in seven runs as the White Sox roll. (US Presswire)
Jim Thome puts on a show for the South Side fans, driving in seven runs as the White Sox roll. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Chicago

J. Thome
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 7
Baltimore

A. Jones
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 

Related Video

Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4320200 .276
Nick Markakis, RF5222024 .292
Adam Jones, CF5223010 .305
Aubrey Huff, 1B5021000 .261
Luke Scott, DH5000023 .298
Melvin Mora, 3B4130101 .267
Nolan Reimold, LF4020112 .263
Matt Wieters, C5000027 .248
Cesar Izturis, SS5011001 .256
Totals42814748  
Batting
2B - Brian Roberts (30, Linebrink), Nick Markakis (28, Thornton), Aubrey Huff (19, Thornton), Melvin Mora (10, Dotel), Nolan Reimold (6, Danks), Cesar Izturis (6, Danks)
HR - Nick Markakis (9, Danks), Adam Jones (13, Linebrink)
RBI - Nick Markakis 2 (59), Adam Jones 3 (50), Aubrey Huff (57), Cesar Izturis (14)
2-OUT RBI - Adam Jones 2 (18), Cesar Izturis (8)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Mora-B. Roberts-Huff
E - Jason Berken (1, Throwing), Cesar Izturis (6, Throwing)
Baltimore Orioles
Jason Berken (L,1-7) 4.1766232 6.44
Matt Albers 1222200 3.96
Danys Baez 0.2122001 4.60
Rich Hill 0.1222100 7.22
Kam Mickolio 1.2100220 0.00
HBP - Beckham (by Jason Berken), Dye (by Danys Baez)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Berken 81-53, Matt Albers 36-19, Danys Baez 12-7, Rich Hill 20-11, Kam Mickolio 38-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Berken 6-3, Matt Albers 2-1, Danys Baez 1-1, Kam Mickolio 2-1
Batters Faced - Jason Berken 22, Matt Albers 7, Danys Baez 4, Rich Hill 4, Kam Mickolio 8
Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF3330200 .307
Alexei Ramirez, SS2102112 .279
Jermaine Dye, RF3211112 .303
Jim Thome, DH4227111 .259
Paul Konerko, 1B5121000 .304
A.J. Pierzynski, C5010010 .297
Chris Getz, 2B4120102 .262
Gordon Beckham, 3B3221102 .281
Dewayne Wise, CF5000016 .187
Totals3412131275  
Batting
2B - Jermaine Dye (16, Berken), Chris Getz 2 (16, Berken, Albers), Gordon Beckham (9, Hill)
HR - Jim Thome 2 (16, Berken, Baez), Paul Konerko (17, Berken)
SF - Alexei Ramirez 2 (5)
RBI - Alexei Ramirez 2 (44), Jermaine Dye (56), Jim Thome 7 (57), Paul Konerko (61), Gordon Beckham (21)
2-OUT RBI - Jermaine Dye (14)
SB - Scott Podsednik (14, 2nd base off Albers/Wieters)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Chris Getz (7, Misplayed grounder), Alexei Ramirez (11, Throwing)
Chicago White Sox
John Danks (W,8-6) 5733331 3.98
Scott Linebrink (H,6) 1322021 2.41
Octavio Dotel 1100020 3.28
Matt Thornton 1333100 3.13
Tony Pena 1000010 4.38
Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 97-62, Scott Linebrink 20-16, Octavio Dotel 15-10, Matt Thornton 25-14, Tony Pena 18-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 7-6, Octavio Dotel 1-0, Matt Thornton 2-1, Tony Pena 1-1
Batters Faced - John Danks 26, Scott Linebrink 6, Octavio Dotel 4, Matt Thornton 7, Tony Pena 3
Game Information
Attendance - 32013
Game Time - 3:19
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Bill Welke