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Associated Press
Chicago’s A.J. Pierzynski is tagged out by Baltimore catcher Taylor Teagarden during the Orioles’ home win Thursday.

Slumping Sox fall on eve of big series

– The Chicago White Sox couldn’t get out of Camden Yards fast enough after losing three of four to the surging Baltimore Orioles.

Orioles left-hander Zach Britton struck out a career-high 10, Taylor Teagarden and Adam Jones homered and Baltimore beat Chicago 5-3 Thursday in a duel of AL playoff contenders.

Next up for the first-place White Sox: A showdown with Detroit for the lead in the AL Central.

“You’ve got to go in there and put this series behind us and hopefully go into Detroit and play well,” Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “The Orioles are playing well right now. They have a confidence about them, especially at home. We’re out of here now and we have to worry about Detroit.”

Chicago went 2-6 this season against the Orioles, who took charge in the finale with a four-run third inning against Jose Quintana (5-3), who yielded five straight two-out, extra-base hits.

Alexei Ramirez had three hits for the White Sox, who trailed 5-1 in the fourth but got the tying run to the plate in the ninth.

“Once this game is past, you just move on to the next one,” Ramirez said through an interpreter. “Baltimore is a great team, they’re playing great baseball right now.”

The victory moved the Orioles (72-58) within three games of the idle AL East-leading New York Yankees, who play host to Baltimore in a three-game series that begins tonight.

Britton (4-1) gave up one run, seven hits and did not issue a walk. He fanned Dewayne Wise three times and eclipsed his previous single-game career high of seven strikeouts by the fifth inning.

BLUE JAYS 2, RAYS 0: In Toronto, Carlos Villanueva pitched six sharp innings as Toronto snapped a five-game losing streak against Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay lost for the fifth time in six games and dropped 1 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the second AL wild-card berth.

MARINERS 5, TWINS 4: In Minneapolis, Blake Beavan gave up two runs in seven innings and Trayvon Robinson drove in two runs to lift Seattle. Beavan (9-8) scattered five hits, walked two and struck out one.

Kyle Seager also drove in two runs for the Mariners, who have won 11 of their last 15 games.