Chris Davis is keeping pace with a Triple Crown winner.
That's never a bad thing.
With Davis just two RBIs behind Miguel Cabrera for the league lead, the Orioles hope to ride Davis' hot bat to a sixth win in seven games Thursday against the Chicago White Sox.
Davis hit his major league-leading 32nd homer and added a two-run double in Baltimore's 4-2 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday. He has four homers and nine RBIs over his last four games, knocking in nine of the Orioles' 21 runs during that stretch."They've got a guy that's hitting .330," Chicago's Gordon Beckham said. "Driving in a million runs and hitting a million home runs. He's really good. It's tough to say anything about our side when he's doing what he's doing."
What Davis has been doing is leading the Orioles to wins. Baltimore (48-37) is 19-10 in games in which Davis has hit a home run, including Wednesday when his solo shot gave the Orioles a 2-1 advantage. His double in the eighth gave Baltimore the lead for good in its major league-best 69th road win since the start of 2012."I think it's more a feeling of comfort than anything else," he said. "I feel comfortable in the box. I feel like I'm seeing the ball well and getting good pitches to hit. I feel comfortable hitting with no strikes, one strike or two strikes."
Wednesday's defeat was the sixth in seven games for Chicago (33-48), which has scored three runs or fewer four times in that stretch.
Alex Rios scored a first-inning run in the loss, but has just three singles in his last 28 at-bats.
The White Sox were 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position Wednesday and are 4 for 21 over the last three games.
Baltimore's Zach Britton (2-2, 4.50 ERA) enjoyed having Davis on his side his last time out. After the slugger failed to contribute an RBI in Britton's first three starts, Davis made up for it Saturday, belting two homers and knocking in five runs to help him defeat the Yankees. Britton ended up allowing two runs - one earned - over 5 2-3 innings in an 11-3 rout.
The left-hander was sent to the minors earlier this season after he struggled in his first start, surrendering six runs and 10 hits in six innings at Seattle. Since he was recalled June 18, Britton has posted a 2.81 ERA in three starts.
Britton is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two outings against the White Sox and struck out a career-high 10 over eight innings in a 5-3 win in the most recent meeting Aug. 30.
He hasn't pitched past the sixth inning in any of his last six starts, but Baltimore relievers have compiled a 0.47 ERA in the past six games.
For the White Sox, Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.97) seeks his first win since May 21. He hasn't recorded a decision in any of his last six starts and allowed five runs and three walks over six innings in a 9-8 loss to Cleveland on Friday.
The lefty was tagged for five runs and seven hits - including two homers - over 3 2-3 innings opposite Britton in August.
Orioles backup catcher Taylor Teagarden homered off Quintana in that game and is likely to start Thursday. Teagarden is 3 for 31 (.097) with two home runs this season.
|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|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 02, 2013||Jesse Crain||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder tightness|
|June 30, 2013||Jesse Crain||15-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
|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|
CHICAGO (AP) -- Adam Dunn thought Jose Quintana deserved better than another no-decision in a defeat, so he did with his bat what he had failed to do with his glove.
Dunn made up for a critical eighth-inning error by hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Chicago White Sox a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.
Dunn connected with one out against Tommy Hunter (3-2). The previous inning, Dunn misplayed a grounder by Matt Wieters , paving the way for the tying run to score and depriving Quintana of his first victory since May 21.
"The way Q pitched and how that inning went down, it was good any way we could to get a win," Dunn said.
Quintana struck out a career-high 11 in seven innings. He allowed two hits and retired his last 13 batters.
Addison Reed (4-1) wound up with the win.
Dunn's home run was his 23rd this year. He has batted .272 in June and July after a .156 average in April and May.
"I think that it's probably a little bit of everything," he said about his turnaround. "The things we've been working on since spring training just kind of paying off now."
"Like I said from Day One, I've felt pretty good all year. Just wasn't getting any results. Now it seems like I'm swinging at a little better pitches and putting some good wood on it," he said.
Dunn also singled in a run to help Chicago take a 2-0 lead in the sixth.
"He's dangerous any time he goes up there. But again, just the quality of the at-bats is great to see," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said.
Quintana was locked in from the start.
"The beginning of the game I felt I had really good control and I felt I'm really going to be able to do some things," he said a translator. "That's s what led to me striking out so many batters."
Quintana seemed as if he would get the elusive victory after the sixth. Alex Rios broke up a scoreless tie with an RBI single and Dunn followed with an RBI single off Orioles starter Zach Britton .
Baltimore scored twice in the eighth off reliever Nate Jones , one on Dunn's error and the other on Nick Markakis ' sacrifice fly.
Quintana said the no-decision didn't bother him. His previous strikeout high was eight, set against Texas on July 5, 2012.
"Those are things you can't control," he said. "The most important thing to me is that the team wins. The best thing that I can do for the team is give the team a quality start, give the team the opportunity to win and give a quality outing."
Britton struck out three, walked one and gave up six hits over seven innings in his longest stint of the season.
"Both guys pitched real well," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "There was only going to be a small margin of error. We were fortunate to push over a couple there out of their bullpen."
"Quintana was tough. I mean, that was solid. I can see why they're so high on him. He's been pitching well for them. They've got a lot of good young pitchers but Zach matched him for the most part," he said.
Dunn decided the game by connecting on a curveball.
"It's a pitch you don't want to throw to him," Hunter said. "I would like to bury it. There were a couple righties coming up right after him."
NOTES: Ventura said RHP Jake Peavy , on the disabled list since June 6, will throw Friday. Ventura said he doesn't expect Peavy to return from his broken rib until after the All-Star break. ... Baltimore signed South Korean LHP Jung-Hyun Yoon. He is slated to report to the Orioles' spring training complex in Sarasota to be evaluated for assignment within their system. ... The sixth inning has become a nemesis for Britton, who had given up a .643 batting average in sixth innings coming into the contest and then allowed two more runs. ... The starting time for the White Sox-Orioles game on Sept. 7 game in Baltimore has been moved to 1:05 p.m. from 7:05 p.m. Baltimore RHP Miguel Gonzalez (6-3, 3.77) starts Friday night at New York against Ivan Nova (2-2, 4.63) of the Yankees. The White Sox play at Tampa Bay Friday night, with Dylan Axelrod (3-4, 4.57) facing Jeremy Hellickson (7-3, 4.90).