John Danks pitched six strong innings to end a disheartening season on a high note, throwing 7 1/3 strong innings to finish the season 8-12. In the process, he, Jesse Crain, Chris Sale and Sergio Santos combined to limit the Royals to just six hits -- the first time they finished with less than 10 in six head-to-head games.
Danks was perfect through 4 2/3, which gave the Sox time to post a crooked number against Everett Teaford. They struck for four during a pleasantly long bottom of the second, which included an Alex Rios two-run homer, a bases-loaded walk to Juan Pierre, and a sac fly by Alexei Ramirez.
That turned out to be enough by itself, even though Danks couldn't avoid his customary sixth-inning struggles. That's when he gave up all three runs he allowed, which included hits both authoritative (Melky Cabrera's two-run double) and weak (Eric Hosmer's poke through the 5.5 hole).
While Cabrera made it a game with his bat, he also deflated the tension with his baserunning. He knocked Danks out of the game with an infield single deep in the hole, but two batters (and pitchers) later, Sale picked him off to leave Hosmer at the plate. When Hosmer led off the next inning, he was no longer the
go-ahead tying run.
Brent Morel provided the insurance, including a no-doubt solo shot in the fourth, and a blistered run-scoring fielder's choice in the eighth.