Adam Dunn is continuing his resurgence. Coming into today's game, he had been hitting a torrid .300/.412/.675/1.087 over the previous 28 days. When the White Sox needed it today, he delivered.
Dunn's 23rd home run of the season came with one out in the ninth off of right hander Tommy Hunter. Based on the call from Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson, the Orioles had a left-handed reliever warming in the bullpen, but Buck Showalter decided to keep Hunter in.
The other big story of the game is Jose Quintana. Quintana pitched a gem today, throwing seven innings of shutout ball with two hits, a walk, and a career high eleven strikeouts. Quintana finished the seventh by striking out the side, including last evening's hero Chris Davis. Quintana stuck Davis out twice for the day, while Addison Reed stuck him out a third third time in the top of the ninth.
The only real threat to Quintana today came in the first inning. After Nick Markakis grounded out to Quintana to lead off the game, Manny Machado bunted his way on. Quintana then gave up his lone walk of the day to Adam Jones to put a man in scoring position with Chris Davis next. With the Sox playing up the middle, Davis lined out sharply to Alexei Ramirez who stepped on second for an unassisted double play to end the inning and the threat.
The game was pretty quiet after that point, with Orioles starter Zach Britton having a nice day of his own. The Sox had Alex Rios on third with two outs in the fourth after a single, a stolen base, and a passed ball. Britton, however, struck out Adam Dunn to end the inning.
The Sox finally got on the board in the sixth. Alexei Ramirez lead off the inning with a double. Alex Rios singled to center. Running on Adam Jones, Alexei scored despite a perfect throw by Jones to Taylor Teagarden to give the Sox a 1-0 lead. Rios got to second on the play at the plate. Dayan Viciedo flied out to center, but Rios was able to get to third. With Rios on third, the Orioles didn't play the normal shift against Adam Dunn. Dunn took advantage of this by hitting a sharp single to right to score Rios and make it a 2-0 game.
After getting through a scoreless seventh, the White Sox brought in Nate Jones in the eighth. Unfortunately, Jones's struggles for the season came back. After walking Brian Roberts to lead off the eighth, Nate McLouth doubled to right. After holding the runners after a Chris Dickerson ground out, the Orioles brought in Matt Weiters to pitch-hit for Taylor Teagarden. In a moment all to familiar this season, Weiters grounded to Dunn behind first base but couldn't recover to make a play, allowing Roberts to score and McLouth to get to third. After a Makakis sac fly and a Machado strikeout, Jones gets out of the inning with a blown save and a 2-2 tie.
The Sox did nothing offensively off of Tommy Hunter in the bottom of the eighth, and Addison Reed came on in relief in the tied ninth for a three-up, three-down inning. With the walk-off homer, Reed goes to 4-1 on the season, while Hunter drops to 3-2. Dunn and Rios provided essentially all the offense for the Sox today. Dunn went 3 for four today with two RBIs. Rios was 2 for 4 with an RBI. Besides Ramirez's double in the sixth, the only other hit was a broken bat single for Flowers in the fifth.
After the game, the White Sox announced that Jordan Danks was optioned to Charlotte.
Jordan Danks optioned, position player to be promoted Friday— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) July 4, 2013
On the 40-man roster, the only position players left are Josh Phegley, Mike McDade, Jared Mitchell, and Blake Tekotte. The other likely options at Charlotte would be Tyler Greene and Andy Wilkins, but since neither are on the 40-man roster, another move would need to be made to get them on. If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on Tekotte, but I don't know if I can count out a Wilkins move given the way Ramon Troncoso's been pitching.
Update: right after posting this, of course comes the news that Hector Gimenez has also been designated for assignment. Phegley is being called up to replace him. The rebuilding seems to have started in earnest.