BALTIMORE - White Sox fans are edgy to begin with. Call it a South Side thing.
Add to it their disappointment in an underachieving team and they've gone from edgy to grumpy, which explains the boos and the sometimes unfriendly atmosphere at U.S. Cellular Field. Does that also explain why the Sox are the only team in the American League with a winning record on the road and a losing mark at home?
"I talked about that subject for five minutes the other day and did not have a good answer to that,'' second baseman Gordon Beckham. "You can make assumptions. Maybe guys feel a little more pressure in Chicago - maybe some boos and that kind of stuff. But there's no rhyme or reason.''
The Sox are 24-32 at home, where they had played two fewer games through Monday and scored 34 fewer runs while allowing 17 more earned runs. They beat the Orioles 4-3 for their seventh straight win on the road and 16th in their last 21 games.
Carlos Quentin may be the single-most important reason for the discrepancy. He hit his 17th home run on the road in the second inning against the Orioles on Tuesday and was batting .302 with 48 RBI on the road. He's hitting .223 with seven homers, 23 RBI at home.
"I have no idea why we play better on the road,'' 44-year-old veteran Omar Vizquel said.''Maybe the wife has something to do with it [smiling]. Chicago is a great ballpark to hit and you would think we'd have an advantage because of the way the ball travels.''
Vizquel said it has nothing to do with the crowd "because the crowd is not going to be on your side on the road. Maybe the guys concentrate better on the road.''
Sox fans have booed Adam Dunn and Alex Rios hard this season. Brent Lillibridge echoes the view of most players, that few embrace that side of the fan base but most understand it.
"I understand their frustration because this team was built defensively and offensively to be one of the best in the league,'' Lillibridge said. "The fans had high hopes and are frustrated because they see how good we could be. We play this game to win.
"To be hated one day and loved the next its part of the job we have. It goes with being on TV and being exposed and everyone seeing our faults.''
Brent Morel homered and drove in another run with a single.