Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/5/13
The Baltimore Orioles are hoping to gain ground in the American League Wild Card race by welcoming the Chicago White Sox who are in last place in the AL Central. (Photo credit: David Banks/Getty Images) The Baltimore Orioles are running out of time. After picking up just three wins on a nine-game road trip at a critical junction of the season, the Orioles return home to Camden Yards and play host to the Chicago White Sox. The Orioles are 4-6 in their last 10 games. After a losing road trip they have fallen to fourth in the American League East and are now 9.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. One of baseball’s closest races is the American League Wild Card. Currently seven teams (including the AL West division winner) are within 5.5 games of the second Wild Card spot. The O’s are four games out. Thursday night the Orioles (73-65) open a four-game series against the White Sox (56-82). The two teams last played each other on July 4 as part of a three-game series in the South Side of Chicago. The White Sox won two of three games in the only season series between the two teams. Miguel Gonzalez (8-7, 4.11 ERA) gets the start Thursday against Jose Quintana (7-5, 3.69 ERA). Gonzalez will have an extra days rest after allowing seven runs on six hits in just four innings against the New York Yankees on Aug. 30. Tomorrow, Scott Feldman (11-10, 3.75 ERA) will duel with John Danks (4-11, 4.35 ERA). Feldman has pitched well for the O’s in his last three starts, accumulating 18.2 innings with 14 strikeouts and a 1.93 ERA. The third game of the series will feature two southpaws in Wei-Yin Chen (7-7, 3.87 ERA) for the Birds and Hector Santiago (4-8, 3.43 ERA) for the Chi-Sox. Chen has struggled in his last two starts, first allowing a season-high eight runs in Boston and then walking a season-high five batters in New York. The series concludes on Sunday afternoon when Bud Norris (10-10, 4.01 ERA) will match up against Andre Rienzo (1-1, 5.03 ERA). Norris is 4-1 as an Oriole since coming over from the Houston Astros at the trade deadline on July 31. In his last start on Monday, he lasted seven innings, allowing just four hits and one run while striking out eight batters, the most since his Oriole debut. Take Our Poll
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