White Sox-Orioles Preview

The Associated Press

Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis is slumping during an eight-game home run drought and may be facing the wrong pitcher to break out against.

The majors' home run leader is hitless against 11-game loser John Danks, who will try to help the visiting Chicago White Sox end a seven-game slide Friday night.

Baltimore (74-65) totaled seven runs and struck out 19 times in consecutive losses in Cleveland before three players went deep in Thursday's 3-1 victory in the opener of this four-game set. Adam Jones, Brian Roberts and J.J. Hardy all homered as the Orioles began a stretch of eight straight at home.

"It's definitely a good way to start the homestand," Hardy said. "Our backs are kind of against the wall and we need to win. We need to get on a streak, and this is a good start."

It would help if Davis could add to his 47 homers, but he's 4 for 29 since he last went deep Aug. 28.

Danks (4-11, 4.35 ERA) is enduring a miserable season with his highest ERA since finishing at 5.50 as a rookie in 2007. He entered the year after recovering from elbow surgery.

The left-hander, however, has held Davis hitless in 11 at-bats while limiting Jones to a single in 27.

Nick Markakis, benched Thursday due to a 6-for-36 slump, could be back in the lineup since he is 11 for 33 against Danks.

Danks earned one of his few 2013 wins by limiting the Orioles to two runs over seven innings in a 5-2 victory July 2. He improved to 5-4 with a 4.08 ERA in 11 starts versus Baltimore.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter is preaching the old mantra of one game at a time as his team tries to catch Tampa Bay for the AL's second wild card, with the Yankees and Cleveland also in contention.

"They're all significant from here on out just because of the opportunities that are not there," Showalter said. "If we take care of business, it will be an interesting last week of the season. You'll usually like the outcome if you just try to stay in the moment. It's difficult to do. It takes a lot of discipline."

Chicago (56-83) has dropped all seven games on this trip to fall to an AL-worst 24-49 on the road. The White Sox have totaled 22 runs while batting .211 in this slide, and their 524 runs are the league's lowest total.

"We've played that type of game a lot this year and just couldn't score enough runs to win," said Paul Konerko, who went 0 for 4. "We try not to think about how other games have gone, but the end result is you can lump this in with the rest of them."

Baltimore will start Scott Feldman (4-4, 4.18), who is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two outings against the White Sox this year - one with the Orioles. Konerko, Dayan Viciedo, Conor Gillaspie and Alexei Ramirez all went 1 for 6 against him in those games.

The right-hander owns a 5.82 ERA at Camden Yards compared to a 2.05 road mark for the Orioles.

The season series is tied at two wins apiece, with each team scoring 11 runs.

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