An eighth-inning, two-run home run by Nate McLouth gives the Orioles their 13th consecutive one-run victory. (Mitchell Layton/GETTY IMAGES)

With the Baltimore Orioles in the middle of a pennant race and hosting one of the hottest teams in baseball, they couldn’t afford missed opportunities against the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

The Orioles had several chances as they stranded the bases loaded twice.

But left fielder Nate McLouth hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning off reliever Brett Myers to propel the Orioles to a 4-3 victory.

The win came in front of a crowd of 10,995, the second-lowest at Camden Yards this season. They witnessed the Orioles win their 13th straight one-run game, a franchise record.

This season, the Orioles are 24-6 in one-run games.

McLouth spent most of the season in Class AAA Norfolk. He has been a mainstay in the lineup since being called up 17 days ago. His glove in left field has made the Orioles a better defensive team and he quickly became an unlikely No. 3 hitter .

Moved down to the No. 7 spot, McLouth delivered the big hit the Orioles needed Monday.

The Orioles’ third straight win keeps them in the hunt for a wild-card berth.

Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen almost was the tough-luck loser. He held the White Sox, who lead the American League Central, scoreless through the first five innings.

But while covering the first base bag, he dropped a toss from first baseman Mark Reynolds to put the leadoff man on in the sixth.

The White Sox made Chen pay when third baseman Kevin Youkilis lined a first-pitch fastball into the left field seats to give Chicago a 2-1 lead.

— Baltimore Sun