When John Danks pitches like he did tonight, he doesn't need offensive support. A few runs proved to be plenty as Danks mowed down the Mariner lineup en route to his second career shutout.
Danks tied a career high in strikeouts (10) and game score (90) during his three-hitter, in which he tied his all-time-high pitch count, too (120). It was the easiest 120 pitches -- he only walked one, he didn't allow much in the way of solid contact, and not one Mariner reached third base. His changeup was on target from the first inning on, which allowed him to command both sides of the plate.
He only needed his defense on one occasion, and Alexei Ramirez had his back. With Miguel Olivo on second and two outs, Wily Mo Pena hit a hard grounder to Ramirez's left. Ramirez knocked it down with a slide, found the ball behind him, spun and made a perfect throw from his knees in order to retire Pena by a step. Thus ended the only threat, and it didn't register much of a scare.
Michael Pineda was Danks' equal through the first three innings, retiring nine consecutive hitters on 44 pitches. But he temporarily lost command -- and some composure -- in the fourth inning after Juan Pierre canceled the postgame show with a bunt single off the plate. Alejandro De Aza first-to-thirded him on a hit-and-run, and Paul Konerko did the same with a single over shortstop to drive in Pierre.
Ramirez followed by hitting a sac fly after an extended at-bat to make it a 2-0 game. Pineda calmed down after that, but Danks never slipped up to let him back in the game.
De Aza added insurance in the eighth with a solo shot that barely cleared the fence in right.