BALTIMORE – The White Sox couldn’t get out of Camden Yards fast enough after losing three of four to the surging Baltimore Orioles.
Orioles left-hander Zach Britton struck out a career-high 10, Taylor Teagarden and Adam Jones homered, and Baltimore beat the White Sox, 5-3, Thursday in a duel of AL playoff contenders.
Next up for the first-place White Sox: A showdown with Detroit for the lead in the AL Central.
“You’ve got to go in there and put this series behind us and hopefully go into Detroit and play well,” White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “The Orioles are playing well right now. They have a confidence about them, especially at home. We’re out of here now and we have to worry about Detroit.”
The White Sox went 2-6 this season against the Orioles, who took charge in the finale with a four-run third inning against Jose Quintana (5-3), who yielded five straight two-out, extra-base hits.
Alexei Ramirez had three hits for the White Sox, who trailed 5-1 in the fourth but got the tying run to the plate in the ninth.
“Once this game is past, you just move on to the next one,” Ramirez said through an interpreter. “Baltimore is a great team, they’re playing great baseball right now.”
The victory moved the Orioles (72-58) within three games of the idle AL East-leading New York Yankees, who host Baltimore in a three-game series that begins Friday night.
Britton (4-1) gave up one run, seven hits and did not issue a walk. He fanned Dewayne Wise three times and eclipsed his previous single-game career high of seven strikeouts by the fifth inning.
The left-hander allowed hits to five of the first nine batters he faced, but finished by retiring 19 of 21.
“He was just throwing sinkers in, and he had a pretty good breaking ball. He had a good day,” Pierzynski said. “You look up and before you know it, it was the eighth inning and we had three hits, or whatever it was. We had a chance in the second inning to score a couple runs and we only scored one. It was just a fight all day.”
After Pedro Strop surrendered two singles in the ninth, Jim Johnson got an out then gave up a two-run single to Ramirez before striking out Gordon Beckham for his 41st save.
The game drew a crowd of 10,141, the smallest of the season at Camden Yards.
Ramirez went 7 for 13 with five RBIs in the series, but the White Sox finished 2-6 against Baltimore this season.
Quintana allowed five runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings, matching the shortest start of his career. He entered with a 0.88 ERA in day games and was 3-0 with a 3.34 ERA in nine road starts.
Teagarden, the backup catcher behind Matt Wieters, came in batting .086 (3 for 35). In addition to his third-inning home run, he also doubled in a run in the fourth.
The White Sox wasted a double by newcomer Jose Lopez in the first inning, then scored only one run on four hits in the second. After Pierzynski was thrown out at the plate by Jones trying to score from second on a single to center by Ramirez, Beckham hit a two-out RBI single before Wise struck out with runners on the corners.
Quintana opened by getting eight straight outs before Teagarden hit an opposite-field drive to right with two outs in the third. Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy followed with doubles, and Jones hit his career-high 26th home run before Mark Reynolds capped the surge with a double.
“They got to him in that inning,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Quintana. “Everything was kind of up and kind of the same speed, really. They can hit, and they got him.”
Baltimore made it 5-1 in the fourth when Nate McLouth singled and Teagarden doubled to center.
NOTES: The Orioles optioned Britton to Triple-A Norfolk after the game and activated LHP Randy Wolf. ... The White Sox purchased the contract of Lopez from Triple-A Charlotte, placed C Tyler Flowers on the paternity list, purchased the contract of C Hector Gimenez from Charlotte, moved RHP Brian Bruney (hip) to the 60-day DL and released RHP Gregory Infante. ... Four of Teagarden’s five hits this season are for extra bases: two homers and two doubles. ... Orioles DH Nick Johnson, who went on the DL in late June with a wrist injury, is likely done for the season, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ... Chicago outhit Baltimore 10-8 and fell to 39-12 when getting at least 10 hits.