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CLE@BAL: Hammel strikes out five Indians over seven

The White Sox began their current homestand with a win over the Mets, but the club has since lost five in a row.

After Monday's off-day, the White Sox will welcome Baltimore -- which has won four straight games -- for a series that opens with lefty John Danks taking the hill against O's righty Jason Hammel.

Both pitchers turned in quality starts without receiving a win in their last visits to the bump.

On Wednesday, Danks held the Mets to three runs (one earned) over 7 1/3 innings. Chicago's lineup didn't back him up, and he took his third loss in as many outings. Danks is 1-5 with a 4.68 ERA.

"Yeah, it happens; that's baseball," Danks said after that start. "It's good personally to have a good one, especially coming off the one I had. It's a tough game to lose, but it's just as much my fault as anyone else's. It's just the way it goes."

Danks and Hammel experienced similar misfortune that day. After Hammel limited Cleveland to four hits and two runs across seven sturdy innings, Jim Johnson gave up two runs in the ninth, leading to a 4-3 loss for the Orioles.

"Hammel did a great job tonight, and it takes away from his pitching performance," Johnson said. "It kind of leaves a sour taste in your mouth."

In 16 outings this season, Hammel is 7-4 with a 5.09 ERA.

"I think the most important thing will be the team standing at the end will be the team that pitches the best," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's the way it always is, that's just a common thing and something we've got to get better at to stay in it.

"We've done some good things at times, we've just got to be more consistent with it."

Orioles: Davis, Machado doing big things
• Chris Davis is the first player in Major League history to have 30 home runs and 25 doubles by the end of June, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. After Sunday, Davis was hitting .332 with 25 doubles, 31 homers, 80 RBIs, 59 runs scored and 44 walks (including nine intentional).

While Davis leads the Majors in homers, Manny Machado paces the big leagues in doubles. The third baseman exited Sunday with 38 two-baggers, in addition to a .321 batting average. He also has two triples, six homers, 42 RBIs, 53 runs scored and six stolen bases in 10 attempts.

• Johnson saved Sunday's game to give him 100 for his career. Spanning 41 games this season, the right-hander is 28-for-33 in save opportunities and has a 3.92 ERA.

White Sox: Konerko hoping to return on Tuesday
After testing his sore back in the batting cage on Sunday, veteran slugger Paul Konerko said he hopes to return to the lineup for Tuesday's series opener. Konerko hasn't played during Chicago's current homestand.

"I'm kind of on the way up and out of it," Konerko said. "But it feels good. Part of it, again, is that the soreness isn't bad and all that ... but obviously, you want to take swings.

"I hadn't swung a bat in five, six days until yesterday, so you can't really judge it on how you are swinging it sometimes, because you would look bad anyway if you haven't swung for a few days. There's still a little soreness on the follow-through, a little bit. I feel like that will be gone by Tuesday."

Konerko took between 75 and 80 swings on Saturday and 50 more on Sunday. He's going to take it easy on Monday. In 66 games this season, Konerko is hitting .253 with nine doubles, seven homers, 30 RBIs and 25 runs scored. He also has 22 walks and 42 strikeouts.

Worth noting
• The White Sox have averaged 4.2 runs per game during their current losing streak, which has featured two shutouts. During Baltimore's winning streak, the club has averaged 6.5 runs per game.

• Baltimore won six of its eight meetings with the White Sox in 2012. Chicago is 0-3-1 in its last four season series against the Orioles. Comments