CHICAGO — Like many young power hitters, Matt Davidson’s focus at the plate is not to get himself out.
“When I stay in the zone, I do pretty well, and so does everybody,” Davidson said. “You want to swing at the ones in the zone.”
The rookie definitely was in the zone on Tuesday night.
Davidson hit his first career grand slam, Derek Holland scattered eight hits over six innings and the Chicago White Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-1.
Jose Abreu went 3 for 4 and Avisail Garcia had a two-run double as Chicago won its second straight after dropping nine of 11.
Davidson leads the White Sox with 12 homers in 163 at-bats.
“I know he has some days where it might seem like he’s off kilter a little bit, but his mindset and his approach doesn’t change,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. “He goes in there very confident and wanting to do some damage. When he gets a pitch he can handle, he’s able to drive it out of the ballpark.”
Manny Machado had an RBI-single for the Orioles, who dropped to 31-32 with the loss — the first time they’ve been under .500 since Oct. 3, 2015.
Holland (5-6) faced trouble in every inning, but managed to give up just one run. The left-hander had lost his three previous starts, allowing 15 earned runs in 13 innings (10.38 ERA) during that span.
Baltimore starter Alec Asher (2-5) allowed six runs and six hits in five-plus innings following a fast start.
The Orioles grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Joey Rickard had a leadoff double, was sacrificed to third and scored on a long single by Machado that one-hopped the wall in left field. Machado was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
Chicago strung together three straight hits to begin the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead. Melky Cabrera and Abreu singled to put runners on first and second. Garcia then doubled to the left-center gap to score both runners.
The Orioles seemed poised to answer in the fifth, but Holland worked out of a jam — runners on first and third with no outs — by getting Machado to pop up to second and cleanup hitter Mark Trumbo to bounce into a double play.
“The first-and-third situation was tough,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “Guys are pushing and pushing. But just scoring one run, you can’t put it all on one inning, that was more than that. You have to tip your hat to their pitcher, but we seem to be doing a lot of that lately.”
Davidson’s slam in the bottom of the inning made it 6-1 and knocked Asher out of the game.
“The first five innings were really good,” Asher said. “The last inning, I kind of maybe tried to do a little too much and fell behind some hitters and made a mistake.”
Abreu started the sixth with a single, Garcia was hit by a pitch and Todd Frazier walked to load the bases. Davidson worked the count to 3-2 and cracked a fastball deep into the left-field bleachers, a blast estimated at 438 feet.
“That one felt pretty good,” he said. “You don’t really feel anything when you hit balls like that.”
Orioles: 1B Chris Davis likely is headed to the DL with a right oblique strain suffered in Monday’s loss. Davis had an MRI on Tuesday and was scheduled to fly back to Baltimore on Tuesday night for further testing.
White Sox: RHP James Shields (right lat strain) allowed two runs and six hits over five innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte Tuesday night. He threw 90 pitches, striking out six and walking two. “Hopefully, this winds up being his last one and we activate him in the not-too-distant future,” GM Rick Hahn said. … LHP Carlos Rodon (left biceps bursitis) is scheduled to make his second rehab start for Charlotte (third overall) on Saturday.
White Sox RHP Miguel Gonzalez (4-7, 4.89 ERA) will look to break out a recent slump in the third game of the four-game series. Gonzalez is 1-7 with a 6.56 ERA in his last eight starts. Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy (6-5, 3.05) is holding opponents to a .238 batting average this season.