Danks' 7 shutout frames lift White Sox past O's
CHICAGO -- John Danks ended a personal four-game losing streak and extended the White Sox winning streak to three straight in pitching the South Siders to a 1-0 victory over the Orioles before 27,384 Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
Danks worked seven scoreless innings, allowing five hits, two walks and striking out five, before giving way to Jake Petricka in the eighth and David Robertson in the ninth, with Robertson striking out the side for his 17th save.
The only run of the game scored in the third when Jose Abreu opened the frame with his 14th home run and 44th RBI. Abreu connected on a 0-2 fastball from Ubaldo Jimenez and crushed a low line drive over the right field wall.
Jimenez gave up six hits in his seven innings of work, striking out four and walking two. He allowed the first two runners to reach base in the second but stranded Conor Gillaspie at second and Alexei Ramirez at first. The Orioles have lost four of their last five.
"You tip your hat to their pitcher. John Danks has won 73, 74 ballgames in the big leagues. With a guy with his track record and pedigree, you know it's just a matter of time," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Of course, he picked us to do it against. Ubaldo tried to match him as much he could. We had second and third, one out [in the seventh inning], first and second, nobody out [in the fifth]. That's when we kind of let it get away from us, didn't cash in there."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The old 5-4 double play: Baltimore put the first two runners on base in the fifth via singles from Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy. But Steve Pearce's ensuing ground ball to third took Gillaspie to the base for the force, and Gillaspie fired the ball to second baseman Carlos Sanchez to get the second out there.
Danks backs up his words: The veteran southpaw said in St. Louis that he was a big part of the blame for the White Sox underachieving ways through 76 games this season, losing all four of his June starts. Danks added that he clearly needed to pitch better and on Friday, he did .
"These guys have been swinging the bat well and for Johnny to come out tonight, it's a good feeling," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "We need to swing it a little bit better. Jose has the big homer, it just takes one when guys pitch like that. But we need to be a little more consistent offensively and let it fly a little bit." More >
Ubaldo tough-luck loser: Jimenez, who has a staff-leading seven wins, pitched well enough for another, but couldn't get any offensive support. The righty allowed just Abreu's homer and held the Sox to six hits overall over seven innings. It marked Jimenez's three quality start in his past four games.
"I was able to execute pitches and the guys were playing great defense. They helped me a lot getting to ground balls in the hole. They just kept making plays," Jimenez said. "I don't think that was a bad pitch [to Abreu]. I wanted to go away, and he just has such a long reach that he was able to get to that pitch, and he has a lot of power, so he was able to hit it a long way." More >
Seventh slips away: With the tying and go-ahead run in scoring position, the Os couldn't push anything across. After J.J. Hardy walked and Steve Pearce singled the pair moved over on Danks' wild pitch. But Caleb Joseph, who made great contact on a ball just foul, struck out and Ryan Flaherty flied out to keep them off the scoreboard.
"Me especially, I got to put the ball in play," Joseph said. "They are giving us a run there with the infield back and I got to put it in play. Can't strike out."
"We are going to try to win every game. We have to at this point. We will the rest of the year. We just have to play consistent baseball and hopefully we can get back in it."-- Danks, on the White Sox hope of getting into the playoff picture More >
DANKS HAS JONES' NUMBER
With his 0-for-3 showing on Friday, Adam Jones is 1-for-33 lifetime against Danks. Davis is now 0-for-12 with nine strikeouts against Robertson after the White Sox closer fanned him in the ninth.
The Orioles challenged and won a review call in the first inning as Adam Eaton was ruled to have grounded out in a close play. The initial call of safe was overturned.
Orioles: Baltimore will send righty Chris Tillman to the hill on Saturday at 2:10 p.m. ET for the second game of the series. Tillman, who has had a rough first half, won Sunday after allowing four hits with six strikeouts in seven scoreless innings during Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Indians.
White Sox: Jeff Samardzija is coming off of a start in Detroit where he pitched seven scoreless innings and then allowed four runs in the eighth. Samardzija's 17th start of the season comes in this 1:10 p.m. CT first pitch against the Orioles.
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