CHICAGO (AP) — Tommy Hunter had no idea where his fastball was going Wednesday night. The result was predictable.
“Didn’t have a fastball,” he said. “You get hit when you don’t have one. That’s just the bottom line.”
Hunter managed to reach the sixth inning, but gave up eight runs and nine hits in the Baltimore Orioles’ 8-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
A.J. Pierzynski and Alejandro De Aza homered for the White Sox, who matched a season high with 11 hits. Slumping slugger Adam Dunn hit a three-run double off Troy Patton in Chicago’s four-run sixth.
“Tommy kept backing himself into at-bats against people you don’t want to have people on base against,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “That was really a killer, because Pierzynski is as hot a hitter as there is in baseball right now.”
Hunter, 25, struck out the side in a perfect first inning, but things fell apart fast after that.
Pierzynski connected in the second, sending a two-run shot to right that barely cleared the wall and was just inside the foul pole. He also singled in the third and is batting .481 (13 for 27) in his past seven games.
Hunter (1-1) matched a career high with eight strikeouts, but walked four. He allowed eight runs for the first time since July 30, 2010, for Texas against the Los Angeles Angels.
“I’ve got a couple bullpens coming up, and the emphasis is going to be down in the zone,” he said. “I will find (my
fastball). It’ll come. Just gotta reach into my back pocket and pick it out.
“I don’t know where it is or what happened today.” Hunter left with the bases loaded and two out in the sixth. Dunn then lined a 3-2 pitch from Patton into the left-field corner, putting Chicago up 8-1.
Dunn was jeered by the crowd of 13,818 when he swung and missed for his 19th strikeout in the first inning, dropping his average to .175. But the designated hitter walked and scored in the third, walked again in the fifth and put together one of his best plate appearances with the White Sox during Chicago’s four-run sixth.
Dunn was 0 for 15 against left-handers this season before the opposite-field hit.
Jake Peavy pitched seven sparkling innings for the White Sox. Dunn also walked in the ninth and Gordon Beckham hit an RBI single in the sixth to stop a 0-for-14 slump.
Endy Chavez had a run-scoring double for the Orioles, who had won four of five.
Chavez snapped a 0-for-12 slide with his hit in the second, but that was it for Baltimore. Nolan Reimold went 1 for 4 with a single, ending a string of four consecutive games with a homer.
Peavy (2-0) allowed four hits, struck out eight and walked none in his longest outing since he pitched eight shutout innings at Minnesota on August 7. Finally healthy again, the right-hander has pitched at least six innings in each of his three outings this year.
“It starts with Jake and just what he brings, energy-wise and the way he’s been pitching,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He just brings the level up.”
Alex Rios drove in Dunn with a sacrifice fly in the third, making it 3-1, and De Aza added a solo drive to right-center in the fourth for his third homer.
NOTES: Chicago’s Kosuke Fukudome made his first start of the season in left field and his third start overall. “It’s a good
time to get him in there and get him some at-bats,” Ventura said. Dayan Viciedo rested and Ventura said he would be back in the lineup Thursday afternoon. Ventura also said utilityman Brent Lillibridge could start the finale of the four-game series. …Nick Markakis served as Baltimore’s designated hitter and Chavez got the start in right field. Markakis went 1 for 4 and is stuck in a 4-for-39 rut. “Everybody here is gonna have periods where they’re not as good as they’re capable of being,” Showalter said. “If that’s our biggest issue this year, we’re in real good shape.” … Orioles RHP Jason Hammel (1-0) is scheduled to face RHP Gavin Floyd (1-1) on Thursday afternoon. Floyd is 4-2 with a 3.56 ERA in seven career starts against Baltimore. Hammel is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in six career appearances against the White Sox.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)