The Baltimore Orioles have yet to win five straight this season or go 12 games above 500.
They would seem to have the right opponent up next as they try to accomplish both those goals.
Baltimore looks to ride the scorching bat of Chris Davis to its longest win streak of the year Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game road set against the reeling Chicago White Sox.
The Orioles (47-36) secured their first sweep of the season with three straight wins against the rival New York Yankees this weekend. After an 11-3 rout Saturday that featured two homers and five RBIs from Davis, the Baltimore slugger hit his major league-leading 31st home run in a 4-2 victory Sunday.
Huge would be an understatement to describe how valuable Davis has been. His 31 homers are a franchise record before the All-Star break, and he's the first player in major league history to have at least 30 home runs and 25 doubles before July.
Davis, batting .324 with 11 homers and 28 RBIs in his last 18 games, is tied for second in the AL in doubles, trailing Machado, whose 38 are the second most in baseball through the end of June since 1921.
Already leading the majors in homers (115) and ranking second in runs (410), Baltimore's offense received another boost Sunday with Brian Roberts ' return from a right hamstring injury. Roberts went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly and batted ninth as the designated hitter in his first game since April 5.
Jason Hammel (7-4, 5.09 ERA) look to keep the Orioles hot and build off one of his best starts of the season. The right-hander limited Cleveland to two runs over seven innings Wednesday but left without a decision in a 4-3 loss. Although Hammel went 0-2 with a 5.34 ERA in June, he has pitched at least six innings in six of his last seven outings.
He's been very good in his last two starts against the White Sox, going 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA.
Hammel probably wouldn't mind if Paul Konerko sits out a seventh consecutive game with a sore back since Chicago's first baseman is 4 for 11 with two homers against him.
"There's still a little soreness on the follow-through, a little bit," Konerko told the team's website. "I feel like that will be gone by Tuesday."
The White Sox (32-47) are desperate for any kind of spark, having lost five straight and 23 of 31 to fall a season-worst 15 games under .500."It's frustrating losing for any team," ace Chris Sale said. "Any time you start losing a few in a row, you're going to be frustrated. But that's in any sport, any team. But our focus is on turning this around and heading in the right direction."
That begins with John Danks (1-5, 4.68), who has a 5.40 ERA in losing his past three starts since earning his only win June 8.
His last outing, however, was among his best of the season. The left-hander surrendered three runs - one earned - over 7 1-3 innings Wednesday but received no offensive support in a 3-0 loss to the Mets.
Davis is 0 for 9 against Danks.
|Alejandro De Aza||3||.333||1||0||0||0||1||.333||1.000||.667|
|June 20, 2013||Steve Pearce||15-Day DL||Left wrist tendinitis|
|June 17, 2013||Jason Hammel||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|June 06, 2013||Steve Johnson||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|May 24, 2013||Pedro Strop||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|May 24, 2013||Pedro Strop||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|May 13, 2013||Wei-Yin Chen||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|Chicago White Sox|
|June 15, 2013||Alejandro De Aza||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|June 05, 2013||Jake Peavy||15-Day DL||Fractured rib - out 4-6 weeks|
|June 04, 2013||Jake Peavy||Day-to-Day||Left game - Rib pain|
|May 30, 2013||Dewayne Wise||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|May 22, 2013||Chris Sale||Day-to-Day||Left shoulder tendinitis|
|May 02, 2013||Dewayne Wise||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
CHICAGO (AP) -- For one night, the Chicago White Sox had all facets of their game working together.
Adam Dunn and Conor Gillaspie homered while Gordon Beckham had three hits, John Danks pitched into the eighth inning and the White Sox snapped the Baltimore Orioles ' four-game winning streak with a 5-2 victory Tuesday night.
Gillaspie's homer snapped a 1-1 tie in the sixth, and Dunn's 22nd, a two-run homer in the seventh, gave Chicago a 5-1 lead. Addison Reed pitched a scoreless ninth for his 22nd save in 26 attempts.
Chicago ended a five-game losing streak and avoided falling a season-high 16 games below .500.
And the White Sox managed to win by playing the kind of clean game they haven't for most of the season.
The White Sox made no errors, their bullpen was solid, the pitching was strong, and the offense produced. It all added up to a needed victory against one of baseball's hottest teams.
"It's nice," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We've had some tough nights here the last few."
The White Sox have lost 23 of their past 32 and are in last place in the American League Central.
Danks (2-5), who earned his first win since beating Oakland on June 8, allowing two runs and six hits and seven innings with four strikeouts, knows what kind of hole the White Sox have dug for themselves.
"We know how good we are. We know we've got a hell of a road ahead of us. We did it to ourselves," Danks said. "But at the same time, we know how capable we are of going on a run. We just hope that we're able to do it starting now. We know we're running out of time."
Baltimore took a 1-0 lead with one out in the third when Brian Roberts hit his first home run of the season after coming off the disabled list Sunday. Roberts' homer, on Danks' first pitch of the at-bat, was his first since April 13, 2011, against the Yankees.
That was all the production Baltimore got off the White Sox until a run in the eighth.
"(Danks) didn't present many opportunities. He had a good tempo and we knew what he was going to try to do and he did it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "That's a tribute to him and the good stuff he took out there tonight. He had a good change-up."
Chicago's offense gave Danks more than he needed.
Chicago tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on Beckham's one-out single to left. The White Sox took a 2-1 lead on Gillaspie's one-out homer in the sixth. On a 1-0 pitch, Gillaspie hit his sixth homer of the season, a line drive that landed in the right-field corner.
Chicago scored three times in the seventh, capped by Dunn's 427-foot, two-run homer. The homer was Dunn's 428th of his career, passing Mike Piazza for 45th all time, and gave Chicago a 5-1 lead on the second of two homers off Jason Hammel (7-5), the 17th and 18th he's allowed this year.
"I don't really know how to answer that. It's just balls that are up in the zone that get hit out this year that weren't last year," said Hammel, who pitched seven innings and gave up five runs and nine hits.
"It's kind of just the way I'm going right now. The mistakes are being amplified."
Tuesday's game capped a busy day for the Orioles, who acquired starting pitcher Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger from the Cubs for starter Jake Arrieta , reliever Pedro Strop , and two international signing bonus slots. Feldman, who signed a one-year deal with the Cubs last offseason and is 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA, is expected to start Wednesday for the Orioles.
Beckham hopes Tuesday is the start of a run for the White Sox, one they need to get back into the race.
"Show up tomorrow and try to win tomorrow and see what happens," Beckham said. "Ten game winning streaks have happened before, so we'll continue to show up and do the work and hopefully get on a roll here."
NOTES: Paul Konerko was the White Sox's designated hitter and went 0 for 4 after missing six games with lower back tightness. ... The White Sox signed 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Micker Adolfo Zapata to a contract that included a $1.6 million signing bonus, the largest in team history for an international signing. ... The White Sox appointed former slugger Jim Thome to a position as special assistant to general manager Rick Hahn. Thome, who last played for Baltimore in 2012, will work with players at all levels throughout the organization. ... With Feldman pitching Wednesday against Chicago's Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.59), the Orioles will start Zach Britton on Thursday and push Miguel Gonzalez to Friday in New York against the Yankees. ... Baltimore's Wei-Yin Chen will make a rehab start Thursday for Double-A Bowie and the team hopes he will get to 90 pitches. Chen has been on the disabled list since May 14 with a strained right oblique.