Left fielder Nate McLouth did it again. He already had provided the margin of victory with a two-run home run in last Tuesday's game against the first-place Texas Rangers, and he launched a long two-run shot to right field off reliever Brett Myers on Monday to bring the Orioles from behind against the first-place Chicago White Sox.
Two home runs. Two very big wins.
"That was a big win,'' McLouth said. "It was a very well-pitched game by both starters and bullpens and things like that, and it was a big one. A big win...I got a good fastball that I could handle and it kind of helped that I'd faced him a number of times in the NL Central, when he was with Houston, with mixed results. I got a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it.""
McLouth also drove in the tying run in the sixth inning after the Orioles had fallen behind on a two-run homer by Kevin Youkilis.
Just a few weeks ago, McLouth and journeyman outfielder Lew Ford were teammates at Triple-A Norfolk, battling for a chance to resume their big-league careers. It was a big night for both of them.
Ford got the Orioles on the board early with a home run off White Sox starter Francisco Liriano in the second inning -- his first home run at the major league level since 2007.
McLouth's homer and Jim Johnson's 40th save gave the Orioles their 13th straight one-run victory -- a franchise record -- which prompted someone to ask him how a team can perform so well in those kind of situations.
"Score one more run than them,'' he said with a smile. "That's all you got to do. It's tough to do. I don't know. Those one-run games can make or break a season sometimes."
The victory boosted the Orioles into second place in the AL East, just 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees, who lost in extra innings to the Blue Jays. It also boosted them 13 games above .500, equaling their high-water mark for the season.