Adam Dunn entered tonight’s action batting .115 (2-for-21) with zero homers and an 8/3 K/BB ratio over his last seven games, but he picked a pretty good time to bust out of his recent slump.
Dunn helped the White Sox snap a five-game losing streak tonight by homering twice in a 5-4 win over the Indians. He had a solo shot to center field off Zach McAllister in the sixth inning and a go-ahead three-run shot to right-center field off Vinnie Pestano with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.
After hitting just .159 with 11 home runs last season in the first year of a four-year, $56 million contract, Dunn has 41 home runs and 94 RBI this season. This is the sixth 40-homer season of his career and his first since 2008.
The Tigers defeated the Royals 6-2 tonight behind ace Justin Verlander, so the White Sox remain one game in front in the American League Central.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter is not expected to retain his position with the club beyond the 2018 season, according to multiple reports from Jon Heyman of Fancred and Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. Nothing appears to be finalized just yet, however, and the Orioles have yet to address rumors of Showalter’s impending departure or news of a possible contract extension for general manager Dan Duquette.
Even so, it’s been a year of near-unprecedented disaster for the 62-year-old skipper, who helped lead the team to a 44-108 record prior to the outcome of Friday’s series opener against the Yankees. With the Orioles’ 108th loss — a 4-6 heartbreaker against the Blue Jays on Tuesday — they tied the 1937 St. Louis Browns for the second-most losses in a single season, eclipsed only by the 43-111 record of the 1939 Browns. As they have just 10 games remaining in the regular season, this year’s team has no chance of climbing out of last place in the AL East and may well finish with the worst record in the AL to boot.
While the Orioles’ missteps don’t bode well for Showalter’s future in Baltimore, he’s brought far more good than harm to the organization over the last eight and a half years. He assumed the managerial position from interim manager Juan Samuel in the middle of the team’s 2010 season and guided the club to five winning seasons and three postseason appearances in 2012, 2014, and 2016. Entering the 2018 season, his record sits at 666 wins and 677 losses, the winningest mark by any of the team’s skippers since Earl Weaver wrapped his 17-season run with the team in 1986. Whether the Orioles believe Showalter is capable of recovering from two consecutive losing seasons and returning the team to their former days of glory (and the occasional division title) remains to be seen, of course, though there’s plenty to recommend him as they prepare to advance a full-scale rebuild over the offseason.