BALTIMORE — In what was believed to be the first major league game played without fans in attendance, Chris Davis hit a three-run homer in a six-run first inning Wednesday and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 8-2.
The gates at Camden Yards were locked because of concern for fan safety following recent rioting in Baltimore after a 25-year-old black man died in police custody.
The unusual decision to play the game was made because it was the best time to fill out the schedule for both teams.
Both teams lined up for the national anthem, music was piped in between innings and the seventh inning streak was noted with the traditional John Denver song.
And the Orioles and White Sox played their game — albeit five hours earlier and in an eerily quiet ballpark.
In a crisp 2 hours, 3 minutes, Baltimore won its third straight since snapping a five-game losing streak.
Ubaldo Jimenez (2-1) continued his rebound from last season's struggles, allowing two runs — one earned — on three hits with six strikeouts and just one walk over seven innings. Manny Machado hit his fourth home run among his three hits and Caleb Joseph had a pair of RBIs.
White Sox right-hander Jeff Samardzija (1-2) allowed a season-high eight runs — seven earned — on 10 hits, including two homers, over just five innings. Entering the game, he had not allowed a run over his previous 10 innings.
The Orioles batted around against Samardzija in the first. With the bases loaded, Adam Jones hit a sacrifice fly and Davis followed with a three-run homer that landed on a nearly empty Eutaw Street. A double by Everth Cabrera and a single by Joseph rounded out the scoring.
Samardzija continued to labor, allowing another RBI single to Joseph in the third.
Machado's fifth error in the past eight games on a grounder by Alexei Ramirez gave Chicago its first run in the fifth. A ground-out by Geovany Soto later that inning pulled them to 7-2. Machado made up for his mistake with a solo that inning.
Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy (left shoulder strain) felt much better after receiving a cortisone shot last week and will travel with the team to Tampa Bay over the weekend. He hopes to begin a rehab assignment next week.
White Sox: Chris Sale, who appealed his five-game suspension for his role in a brawl with the Royals, will look to pick up his third win four starts on Thursday against Minnesota.
Orioles: Chris Tillman (2-2, 7.58 ERA) will open the series Friday against the Rays, which has been moved to Tropicana Field from Baltimore. The Orioles, though, will be the home team.
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