Preview: White Sox Vs. Orioles
By TAYLOR BECHTOLD
(AP) — The Baltimore Orioles enjoyed quite a power surge during their winning streak, but their recent shortage of timely hits finally caught up with them as the run came to a halt.
They certainly haven’t had much success finding ways to score in Ubaldo Jimenez’s outings this season.
As Jimenez seeks his first home win with Baltimore, the Orioles hope to bounce back with their sixth win in eight games Wednesday night in the finale of their set with the last-place Chicago White Sox.
Although the Orioles (40-36) totaled 20 runs while hitting .324 with nine home runs during a three-game win streak, they went just 4 for 26 with runners in scoring position in those contests.
Baltimore ranks among the major league leaders with a .271 average in those situations, but its recent struggles continued Tuesday when it went 1 for 9 and hit into four double plays in a 4-2 loss to the White Sox (36-42).
Nelson Cruz and Adam Jones, two of the team’s top sluggers, were 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position and have gone 1 for 19 in those key spots over their last 12 games combined.
“That’s baseball,” right fielder Nick Markakis, 0 for 8 in the series, told MLB’s official website. “You go through those little streaks and we are in one of them right now. But we’ll look to get out of that and do the best we can.”
Baltimore hasn’t been able to come through at the plate very often for Jimenez (2-8, 4.63 ERA). He’s received just five runs of support in his last six starts and has the majors’ second-lowest run-support average at 2.64.
Jimenez has limited opponents to two runs or less in four of his last five starts, though he has issued 16 walks in his last three after finishing with a season-high six Friday. He surrendered one run over 5 2-3 innings in that contest before the bullpen blew his lead in a 5-3 loss at Yankee Stadium.
Though Jimenez is 0-6 with a 6.38 ERA at home, he’s 2-3 with a 2.54 ERA at night.
While with Cleveland last season, he went 1-0 with a 2.75 ERA and 23 strikeouts in his three starts against the White Sox.
Conor Gillaspie (5 for 8) has fared well against Jimenez, though Adam Dunn is batting .156 with 19 strikeouts in 32 career at-bats. Gillaspie, who went 2 for 5 Tuesday, is also hitting .382 over his last eight games.
Adam Eaton has reached base in 19 straight games and looks to extend his hitting streak to 12.
After Chicago had posted a 5.58 ERA in its previous six games, Jose Quintana allowed one run over seven innings Tuesday to help the club snap a five-game losing streak overall and an eight-game road skid.
The White Sox hope to get another solid performance from Hector Noesi (2-5, 5.34), though he’ll have to turn things around after going 1-1 with 5.51 ERA in his last three outings. He allowed four runs over seven innings Friday, but did not receive a decision in a 5-4 loss at Minnesota.
The right-hander went 0-2 with a 14.21 ERA in two starts against the Orioles in 2012 when he was with Seattle.
Cruz is 2 for 5 with a home run and Jones has gone 2 for 4 with a homer when facing Noesi. Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy, however, are a combined 2 for 15.
Baltimore’s Steve Pearce is 13 for 27 with three homers, four doubles and eight RBIs during a seven-game hit streak.
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