CHICAGO (AP) — Nelson Cruz took the major league lead with his 33rd home run and the surging Baltimore Orioles completed a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 4-3 win Wednesday night.
Adam Jones and Steve Pearce also homered for the Orioles, who have won four straight and extended their AL East lead to nine games over second-place Toronto.
Baltimore posted its first sweep in Chicago over the White Sox since July 1995.
Cruz’s homer was a two-run shot in the fourth off Hector Noesi (7-9) that gave Baltimore a 3-2 lead. Cruz is one ahead of White Sox rookie Jose Abreu and Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton for the homer lead.
The Orioles have also hit 161 as a team this year, the most in the majors.
Wei-Yin Chen (13-4) went 7 1-3 innings and allowed three runs and six hits.
Zach Britton picked up his 27th save in 30 tries in front of a Chicago crowd that included a fair amount of noisy, orange-clad Orioles fans.
Chen fell behind early when he gave up a two-run homer in the first to Avisail Garcia, and left in the eighth after allowing one-out singles to Alexei Ramirez and Alejandro De Aza. Darren O’Day struck out Abreu and Garcia to end the threat.
Garcia’s homer was his first since coming off the disabled list Saturday and his first since April 8. On April 9, Garcia tore the labrum in his left shoulder.
Noesi went seven innings as the White Sox fell a season-high nine games below .500.
Orioles: 3B Manny Machado reported his sprained right ankle had been slow to respond to treatment and exercises.
White Sox: General manager Rick Hahn said OF Adam Eaton (strained right oblique) could be off the disabled list next week and will go on a rehab assignment soon.
Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (7-4, 3.70) faces Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (6-4, 2.61) on Friday at Wrigley Field. Arrieta spent parts of four seasons with the Orioles before being traded last July to Chicago.
White Sox: LHP John Danks (9-8, 4.94) faces Yankees RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 2.91) on Friday in New York. Danks is 2-2 with a 6.20 ERA since July 1.