CHICAGO -- A red-hot Pedro Alvarez homered twice, and Baltimore used a three-run third inning to beat former Oriole Miguel Gonzalez and the White Sox, 7-5, in Friday's series opener at U.S. Cellular Field.
The win keeps the O's tied atop the American League East standings with the Blue Jays.
Gonzalez, who was released by Baltimore this spring, was charged with four runs (three earned) on 10 hits and a strikeout over six innings.
"There was definitely some adrenaline going," Gonzalez said. "Felt good, felt good overall."
"Again, you are looking at some guys who can swing the bat and are familiar with him," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I think there's a stretch there where he was pitching pretty good, and they got to him a little bit. But I thought he battled."
Alvarez homered off Gonzalez in the second inning and also went deep in the eighth, bringing his total to six homers over his past five games. It marked Alvarez's third multi-homer game of the year and his second in four days.
"He's just getting comfortable," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Alvarez, who signed as a free agent this spring. "The first time you've been with one organization your whole life and signed [somewhere else] and what have you, there's a period you go through. We try to be patient and realize there's an adjustment that human beings have to make. … We have a very welcoming and atmosphere. So, I think that works well for us."
The White Sox rallied against O's setup man Darren O'Day in the eighth, loading the bases and scoring a pair of runs before chasing him from the game. With Logan Ondrusek pitching, the Sox ran themselves out of the inning, when Dioner Navarro was thrown out at third base by first baseman Chris Davis after Adam Eaton grounded out. The play held up following a three-minute replay review.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED The power of Pedro: Alvarez hit his fourth homer in three games and six in five with a second-inning blast to put the O's on the board. Alvarez, who now has 18 homers on the season, has hit his way into a more regular role in the O's lineup as the designated hitter. More >
"The good thing about this team is that, you know, anybody on any given day can get the job done and win a game," Alvarez said. "When you have that, there is no pressure on anybody to want to do extra and do more than what they could. I've never felt that, and I know I never would."
Abreu dials long distance: After breaking an overall homerless drought dating back to June 23 on Thursday, Abreu went deep for a second straight game when he connected off Gallardo in the fourth inning. Abreu's 13th homer overall marked his first homer at U.S. Cellular Field since June 13 against Detroit.
Baserunning blunder: A spirited three-run eighth-inning rally came to an end for the White Sox when Carlos Sanchez made a questionable baserunning decision that caused Dioner Navarro to be doubled up at third on Eaton's one-out ground ball to Davis. Sanchez, who had doubled home a run to cut the lead to two, broke for third on the grounder, but Navarro took a few steps and then stopped and retreated to third as Davis stepped on first. Davis threw to third and nailed Navarro as called by third-base umpire Marty Foster, and a video review did not change the call. Ventura and Sanchez explained after the game that Sanchez was not supposed to be running unless the ball was hit up the middle. More >
"I know I can do better," Sanchez said through interpreter Billy Russo. "I need to learn from this, and I know this is not going to happen again."
O'Day off: The usually-reliable O'Day didn't look right the entire time he was on the mound. After a pair of walks helped load the bases, the right-hander gave up a fielder's choice RBI and watched another run score on Jonathan Schoop's throwing error. O'Day allowed another hit that sailed over Nolan Reimold's head before exiting. He was charged with three runs over just one-third of an inning.
"It's awesome. He's swinging the bat well right now. It's obviously a good thing to see. Just playing against him when he's seeing the ball well, it's tough. He's not easy to pitch to." --Gallardo, on Alvarez
"Definitely. It really meant a lot to me." -- Gonzalez on whether facing his former team produced a little extra adrenaline
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Opening Day starter Chris Tillman will look to deliver a deep start after failing to complete six innings in each of his past two outings. While he's 0-1 over those two starts, Baltimore has been nearly unbeatable behind its ace, going 19-4 in his starts this season. First pitch on Saturday is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
White Sox:Carlos Rodon makes his second start since coming back from a disabled list stint caused by a sprained left wrist on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field, with first pitching coming at 6:10 p.m. CT. Rodon will try to improve on his 2-8 record and 4.67 ERA over 17 starts this season and will make his second career start against the Orioles.