White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia used every inch of his 6’4” frame to rob Orioles slugger Chris Davis of what would have been a game-tying ninth-inning homer and preserve a 3-2 Chicago win on Saturday.
Davis ripped a one-out, 1-0 fastball from Sox closer David Robertson to right. Garcia, positioned just short of the warning track in a no-doubles defensive alignment, reached above the wall just in front of the Baltimore bullpen, brought the ball back into the field of play, then pumped his fists excitedly upon realizing that he had caught the ball.
Robertson then struck out Matt Wieters looking to end the game and record his 18th save.
Baltimore had tied the game in the eighth, which the White Sox had come into leading 2-0. Ryan Flaherty walked with two outs off starter Jeff Samardzija, ending his day. Reliever Zach Putnam, on an 0-1 pitch, gave up a two-run homer to Manny Machado, his 17th homer of the season.
Chicago got a run back in the bottom of the eighth off the O’s pen. Bud Norris (2-8), working out of the bullpen after struggling as a starter, walked to lead off the eighth, and was sacrificed to second. Darren O’Day came in to relieve, and gave up an RBI double to pinch-hitter J.B. Shuck to break the tie.
Chris Tillman got a no-decision for the O’s with an odd line for his efforts – giving up 10 hits in four and two-thirds innings, but allowing just two runs. Tillman threw 103 pitches, 71 for strikes.
The loss, the third in a row for Baltimore, drops the O’s two games back in the American League East.