Tonight, John Danks descended into self-parody.
When his offense gave him a 1-0 lead after the first, he immediately coughed it up with a walk and a homer to start the second.
When he didn't have the burden of a lead over the next three innings, he cruised. Not only did he finish the fifth by retiring his eighth batter in a row, but he needed just 17 pitches to retire those eight batters.
But Paul Konerko screwed things up. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, he turned on Daniel Bard's 3-0 fastball and crushed it over the left field wall for his 401st homer.
That gave Danks a lead again ... just in time for Danks' old nemesis, the sixth inning. What resulted was an epic meltdown that's going to serve as a recruitment video for Danks detractors.
After getting Dustin Pedroia to fly out to start the inning, Danks walked Adrian Gonzalez. And after a "wild pitch" (another low pitch A.J. Pierzynski tried to backhand), he walked Kevin Youkilis. David Ortiz loaded the bases on a single, and Cody Ross ripped a single himself to tie the game.
Danks struck out Kelly Shoppach on three pitches to put him within an out of escaping with minimal damage. But it was a short-lived tease, because Darnell McDonald unloaded the bases on the very next pitch, ripping a three-run double down the left field line.
After Marlon Byrd singled to center, the Red Sox went from trailing 3-2 to leading 7-3, and Danks couldn't finish the inning. For the second straight game, a middle-inning crooked number knocked out the White Sox offense, too. And for the second straight game, Boston won by a score of 10-3.
Through five innings, the White Sox offense looked solid. Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a double, and four batters later, he came around to score on A.J. Pierzynski's double off the left field wall. In the third, the
Wild Pitch Passed Ball Offense came through to score Alexei Ramirez, who had reached on an error, moved to second on a single, and to third on a fielder's choice.
However, after the Red Sox answered Konerko's homer with their sixth-inning barrage, the White Sox bats didn't see the point. Bard and Matt Albers went on to retire the last 13 Sox that came to the plate.
- Nate Jones gave up his first two runs of the year on a pair of two-out hits in the seventh.
- Dylan Axelrod made his 2012 debut, cleaning up Jones' mess with one pitch. But he also gave up a solo homer with two outs, so he, too, couldn't escape with a 0.00 ERA.
Brent Morel made a nice diving play on a line drive to his left. He also singled and stole a base, and is starting to separate himself from Gordon Beckham, who struck out twice and popped out.
- Kelly Shoppach let the bat fly after swinging on three occasions, with the last one ending up in the stands.