CHICAGO — Watching Nick Markakis patrol right field for the past nine seasons, Baltimore fans have grown accustomed to watching him make tough defensive plays look routine.
But there was no questioning the difficulty factor of the potentially game-saving catch that he made Monday night against the Chicago White Sox.
Markakis took away a go-ahead homer from Conor Gillaspie in the seventh inning, making a leaping grab against the right field fence. The Orioles’ offense responded to the momentum-grabbing play by opening up a close game for an 8-2 win over the White Sox in front of an announced 16,686 U.S. Cellular Field.
Having just completed 35 straight games against teams with records of .500 or better, this week’s trip to Chicago offers a brief reprieve from contending clubs. Still, facing American League Cy Young Award candidate Chris Sale was no pushover.
But Orioles right-hander Bud Norris outpitched Sale, retiring 17 of the first 18 batters to open the game.
Norris still needed one of the best plays the defensive-minded Orioles have made this season when Markakis robbed Gillaspie with the club clinging to a 3-2 lead.
Markakis also recorded two hits off Sale, just the fourth time a left-handed hitter had a multihit game against the dominant left-hander, and he added his 11th homer of the season — a two-run shot — in Baltimore’s five-run eighth.
— Baltimore Sun