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CHICAGO – John Danks gave up a couple of costly homers. Gordon Beckham had another hitless night. The White Sox left nine runners on base.
This sure looked familiar.
Danks pitched seven solid innings but surrendered consecutive homers to Nolan Reimold and J.J. Hardy in the sixth, and that was enough to send Chicago to a 3-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.
"Every time I take the mound, I want the White Sox to win," Danks said. "I had good-enough stuff and good-enough command to win with two runs. I made two mistakes that got hit pretty hard. It's just baseball."
Danks (1-2) received little run support last season, when the White Sox stumbled to a 79-83 record and third in the AL Central. Beckham and Adam Dunn struggled at the plate and are off to similar starts in 2012.
"Last couple games we felt like we could have won and probably should have won, but the feeling in here is nothing like last year," Danks said. "This group of guys right here is tough enough and good enough to bounce back."
Nolan Reimold homered for the fourth consecutive game and made a terrific diving catch in left field, leading Baltimore to its fourth victory in five games. Wei-Yin Chen (1-0) pitched effectively into the sixth inning to earn his first major league win.
"This is just like a dream come true," Chen said through an interpreter.
Baltimore had just one hit before Robert Andino singled with one out in the sixth. Reimold then hit a drive to left-center, giving the Orioles a 2-0 lead. J.J. Hardy followed with a drive to virtually the same spot for his third homer.
Reimold also had a big home run Monday night, helping Baltimore rally for a 10-4 victory over the White Sox in 10 innings. He is batting .394 (13 for 33) in the past eight games.
"Just staying calm," said Reimold, who also made a terrific diving catch in left field in the first. "No real secret to it. It's just kind of happening. Just been feeling good, keeping my swing short and not moving my head too much."
Chen allowed two runs and six hits over 5 1-3 innings in his second career game. The left-hander, a Taiwan native who pitched in Japan for the last four seasons, also was effective in his first start, surrendering two earned runs in 5 2-3 innings against the Yankees.
"No one really hit him hard," White Sox slugger Paul Konerko said. "He locates his fastball on both sides of the plate and he threw an even mix of the slider and changeup."
Chen was working on a shutout before the White Sox chased him in the sixth. A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run double into the right-field corner before Alex Rios singled to put runners on the corners with one out.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter then brought in sidearmer Darren O'Day, who got Alexei Ramirez to pop up and picked off Rios to end the inning. O'Day also worked the seventh, striking out Brent Morel with a runner on third to preserve the lead.
Troy Patton and Luis Ayala combined to work the eighth before Jim Johnson wriggled out of a jam to record his fifth save in five chances.
The White Sox had runners on the corners with one out when pinch-hitter Kosuke Fukudome lined to third. Alejandro De Aza then walked to load the bases but third baseman Wilson Betemit made a great play on Morel's chopper to complete Chicago's third consecutive loss.
"It's frustrating, but I like that kind of fight, just battling all the way," first-year manager Robin Ventura said. "You're gonna lose some like that, but when you battle like that at-bat after at-bat, you're gonna win a lot more games than you're gonna lose."
Beckham went 0 for 3 and is 3 for 29 on the year. Dunn was 0 for 4 and is 7 for 39 in his first 10 games.
NOTES: The Orioles claimed C Luis Exposito off waivers from the Boston Red Sox. "He's a catcher. We're a little thin there, depth-wise," Showalter said. "I'm not exactly sure where they're gonna send him or what the plan is." INF Josh Bell was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. ... Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's executive vice president for baseball operations, took a triple away from De Aza, changing his fly ball in the eighth inning of Friday night's game against Detroit to an error on left fielder Delmon Young. That means both runs charged to Tigers reliever Daniel Schlereth are unearned. ... The gametime temperature was 51 degrees and the announced crowd was 11,267.