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White Sox take familiar path in loss to Mets

Danks fans seven, allows one earned run in 7 1/3 innings

CHICAGO -- When the same basic sentiment has been uttered too many times to remember, or in the case of the last-place 2013 White Sox, too many times to mercifully forget, then there just isn't much for manager Robin Ventura to say after a game like Wednesday night's 3-0 setback to the Mets at U.S. Cellular Field.

The White Sox (32-43) lost by allowing two more unearned runs, bringing their season total to an astounding 34. They lost to Shaun Marcum, who entered the Interleague-series finale 0-9 with a 5.76 ERA. They lost by knocking out just four hits against this same struggling pitcher and closer Bobby Parnell (13th save), getting shut out for the seventh time this season and second at home.

Names may change and, of course, so does the opponent. But the script for failure for the White Sox has pretty much stayed the same throughout the season.

Judging by Ventura's 90 seconds of direct and pointed postgame commentary, he has reached his fill of frustration.

"It just seemed like a listless offense and I don't know the reason for it, but you can't have it," Ventura said. "There's just nothing there. It's just flat. It's unacceptable stuff. You got to put something on the board."

John Danks (1-5) was the latest quality starter to suffer, with the rotation producing just three wins in June. The southpaw retired the first nine Mets he faced, meaning he had retired 30 straight hitters at home dating back to his last start in Chicago on June 8 against Oakland. That run ended when Eric Young Jr. singled to open the fourth.

Wednesday's contest stayed scoreless until the fifth when the Mets (31-43) broke through with three runs, two of which were aided by the White Sox. Josh Satin opened the inning with a single and moved to third on Andrew Brown's single to left. Left fielder Dayan Viciedo just missed nailing Satin taking the extra base, but his throw to third allowed Brown to take second and drew a few raised eyebrows after the team's ninth loss in 13 games.

"You're upset," Ventura said. "Again, you need to throw to second base, keep the double play in order. It's decision-making. You can't make it for him. It's just something you keep working on."

"He's just trying to be aggressive and make a throw and it just didn't end up working out," said White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham in support of Viciedo. "I've seen him do that before where I'm like, 'Throw to second,' and then all of a sudden he throws a guy out at third. He's got a big arm and thought he could do it, and you can't fault him for it. We've just gotta try to be better."

Fortunes didn't get better for the White Sox when Juan Lagares followed with a hard-hit but catchable ball to shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who backed up and played it to the side. It bounded by his glove and into left, scoring both runners on Ramirez's 13th error. Young followed two batters later with an infield single that ricocheted off third baseman Brent Morel's glove, bringing home Lagares.

Those runs were the only ones allowed by Danks over 7 1/3 innings and 109 pitches, as he struck out seven and didn't issue a walk. Danks felt as if he had more life on his fastball against the Mets and liked the results far better than his four-homer drubbing administered by the Twins last Tuesday, even if he didn't get the win.

"Yeah, it happens. That's baseball," said Danks of the tough loss. "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.

"I was just better. I was able to throw the ball where I was trying to throw it, make it do what I wanted it to do. Today I just had a focus of keeping the ball in the ballpark and trying to make them hit it on the ground. I was able to locate down in the zone a little more and I had a better chance."

Despite having baserunners in five of the first six innings against Marcum, the White Sox offense maintained a common theme behind Danks. They have produced just 17 runs of support over his seven starts, with Wednesday's shortcomings heightened because of Marcum's season-long winless streak.

"To be able to contribute, it's definitely nice to be able to do that," Marcum said. "It wasn't really a concern about my personal record. It was more about the team. We're playing some good baseball right now, too, so that helps."

Marcum praised the Mets' airtight defense for its support, sparked by a trio of great plays by shortstop Omar Quintanilla. Compliments such as that one have not been very prevalent for the White Sox.

Ventura was asked if there was any way to spark his listless offense, and reiterated the players on the roster would have to get the job done. In reality, the only solution might be to break up the roster from a team that simply has proven not to be very good.

"We know we haven't been good across the board in any three of the facets of the game," Danks said. "Each night it's something different. It's definitely frustrating.

"We're definitely good enough to compete in the Central and in the American League. We're way too talented to be where we are right now."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
Read More: Chicago White Sox, John Danks