(AP) — Brian Roberts doesn’t want his recent power surge to fool anyone.
Roberts hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth inning and had a solo shot in the third, leading the Baltimore Orioles to a 5-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
Roberts two-homer night follows his grand slam Thursday in a win over the Rays, but he isn’t looking to pick up the slack for former teammate Aubrey Huff, who was traded to the Detroit Tigers on Monday.
“I know my job and my role. That doesn’t really change no matter who is on this team,” Roberts said. “We could add Albert Pujols and Matt Holiday and that doesn’t change what my role is.”
Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie (8-12), who lost his previous four decisions, allowed just one run on six hits in seven innings to record his first victory since July 19, when he held the White Sox to two runs in eight innings.
“It starts with pitching,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley. “This game, you’ve got your veteran guy going and he certainly needs to set the tone for the game and the series and he did that.”
Jim Thome homered in the fourth inning for Chicago for his 564th career home run, passing Reggie Jackson for sole possession of 12th place on the career list. The White Sox dropped three games behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.
With the score tied at one in the eighth, White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (10-8) allowed a leadoff single to Felix Pie, then Roberts followed with his second home run of the night to give the Orioles a 3-1 lead. It was Roberts’ second career multihomer game, the last coming against the Angels in Anaheim on Sept. 6, 2006. Cesar Izturis followed with a double and Floyd’s night ended after an intentional walk to Adam Jones.
After Izturis got caught trying to steal third, Nick Markakis drove in Jones with a triple to right. Nolan Reimold was intentionally walked and pinch-hitter Ty Wigginton followed with a RBI single off reliever Tony Pena to extend the Orioles lead to 5-1.
Floyd allowed four runs on seven hits in 7 1-3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
Roberts extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a two-out solo shot to right in the third inning.
“Gavin Floyd obviously has thrown the ball really well all year and he threw well tonight, but when you get good pitches to hit you have to do something with them,” Roberts said. “When you’re going good that seems to happen, when you’re not going good you seem to miss those pitches.”
Thome, back in the White Sox lineup after missing three straight games with a sore left heel, homered to center on a 1-0 pitch leading off the fourth inning. It was his 23rd of the season.
Thome cherishes the new milestone, but was disappointed the White Sox could not take advantage of the lowly Orioles before embarking on a 10-game road trip on Monday against the Red Sox, Yankees and Twins.
“It’s tough to sit back and think of the names that you tie and you pass,” Thome said. “It’s very humbling, but the focus is to win and if you do those things it’s great and you feel proud of them but ultimately it’s about winning.”
The White Sox had runners on first and second with no outs in the first inning, but Guthrie picked off Scott Podsednik, then struck out Jermaine Dye and got Thome to fly out to right.
“I think after the first inning when (Guthrie) picked off Podsednik he got a second wind and he pitched better,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “After that we couldn’t recover.”
Podsednik has been picked off four times, but Guillen said it won’t have an impact on Podsednik’s playing time.
“Scottie is a veteran player. He’s been in the league for a long time, but when that happens every week you shake your head and (wonder) what is in his mind,” Guillen said. “I just wish it doesn’t happen again.”
NOTES: White Sox RHP Jake Peavy’s third rehab start was pushed back an extra day because of general soreness. Peavy was originally scheduled to pitch Sunday but now will make the start Monday for Triple-A Charlotte. “We want to have a real good work day in between, so we’re giving it an extra day. I had some back tightness,” Peavy said. “When you haven’t started in over 2 1/2 months, you’re going to have that soreness. I just jumped back into it, so you kind of expect that soreness to be expected.” After Monday’s rehab start Peavy will join the White Sox in Boston and he will discuss with the organization if another rehab start is needed.