BALTIMORE - Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter began the day by telling slumping first baseman Chris Davis he would be out of the lineup against tough Chicago White Sox left-hander Chris Sale. Showalter wanted Delmon Young in, and that move worked as Young banged out three hits as the designated hitter.
But Showalter turned back to Davis in the ninth inning when right-hander Ronald Belisario came on trying to hold a one-run lead. Davis batted for Young with two on and one out and promptly belted a three-run pinch-hit homer to give the Orioles a 6-4 victory over the White Sox on Monday night.
The White Sox took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth, but closer Belisario (3-4) gave up a lead-off single to first baseman Steve Pearce and then drilled center fielder Adam Jones with a pitch.
After left fielder Nelson Cruz struck out, Davis then blasted a 3-2 pitch into the seats in right field to give the Orioles (40-35) a third straight victory.
"Any time you're able to deliver and come through for your team, it's big," Davis said. "Like I said earlier today, I'm working as hard as I can to get back on track, doing everything I can and just knowing that as long as I continue to work, the results would be there."
Belisario struggled in that ninth, allowing three runs on two hits overall, with the big hit by Davis handing the White Sox (35-42) a fifth straight loss.
"I made a mistake with it," Belisario said of the home run pitch. "For me, it's pretty tough. I'm trying to get my job done, but things happen."
They have not been happening lately for Davis, as the first baseman was hitting just .150 over his last 10 games. His average slid down to .216, so Showalter sat him against White Sox starter Chris Sale, who's very tough on left-handers.
Still, the skipper told Davis to be ready to help out off the bench if needed. The right-handed hitting Young went 3-for-4, but Showalter went to lefty Davis against Belisario, and the move paid off.
"Chris and I talked a little bit about how much I wanted to get Delmon in there for some at-bats," Showalter said. "From like the fifth inning on, he was up the runway preparing for an at-bat. He knows at some point the club's going to need a good at-bat from him and he prepared himself for it."
Showalter said before the game that Davis would return to the starting lineup Tuesday against Chicago left-hander Jose Quintana, but the Orioles found punch from other places in Monday's game - again from rookie catcher Caleb Joseph.
Joseph homered for the second straight game and went 3-for-3. That was the first three-hit game of his brief career and moved his average up 35 points to .176. His solo homer in the eighth off Zach Putnam cut the Chicago lead to 4-3.
"I've been saying this for weeks now; I feel confident up there, and my teammates, they've been breathing confidence into me, showing faith and they've been great," Joseph said. "It's good that some hard work's paying off."
The Orioles took an early 2-0 lead when Jones hit a two-run homer to left-center in the first. Pearce drew a one-out walk off Sale, and Jones then lined a shot that nicked the top of the left-center-field fence and went into the bullpen.
Chicago got one run back in the third on designated hitter Jose Abreu's ground-out. Abreu then tied the game with a homer in the sixth off Wei-Yin Chen. Third baseman Conor Gillaspie ended Chen's night with an RBI double to left that gave the White Sox a 3-2 lead.
Abreu posted his third RBI with a run-scoring double in the seventh to put Chicago up 4-2. That put Sale in position to win on a tough night when he gave up two runs on 11 hits in six innings, constantly battling out of trouble.
"You don't see somebody get out of that many messes," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "But he was in quite a bit of a mess the entire game. We were fortunate at that point to be in that situation."
Brad Brach (1-0) earned the victory for Baltimore with two innings of scoreless relief.
NOTES: Baltimore manager Buck Showalter kept 1B Chris Davis out of the starting lineup on Monday. The Orioles were facing White Sox LHP Chris Sale, and Showalter loaded his lineup with eight right-handed hitters. Davis was hitting just .150 in his last 10 games with 15 strikeouts before Monday, but he hit a clutch three-run homer in the ninth as a pinch hitter. Showalter said he will be back in Tuesday's starting lineup. ...The Orioles are hoping that the situation with 3B Manny Machado (suspension and subsequent appeal) will be settled by week's end. ... LHP Scott Downs has blanked opponents for 14 consecutive innings during his last 16 appearances for the White Sox. ... 1B/DH Adam Dunn entered Monday's game with the Orioles needing just one homer to pass Carl Yastrzemski (452) for 35th on the all-time list. Dunn did not play Monday.