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Danks, Sox lose in 6

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John Danks deserved better. Faced with the task of pitching the opening game of a double header, Danks was looking to go deep into the game, preserve the bullpen, and most importantly, get the W to help the White Sox avoid a 2-5 skid. He held up his end of the bargain, taking a no-hitter and perfect game through 5 innings, but the Sox offense, weighed down by three automatic outs at the bottom of the lineup, mounted nary an offensive attack against Brian Burres and the Orioles.

I think it was Hitlesswonder who expressed his concern over the lack of Danks' curveball in his first 4 games. Well, for 5 innings we saw what happens when Danks adds that curve to his arsenal, 5 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K. But when he hung an 0-2 curveball to Adam Jones leading off the 6th, he lost his no-hitter, and thanks to Toby Hall behind the plate, he lost his concentration as well.

Jones has good speed, while Hall has no arm. So Danks spent the better part of the next at-bat throwing over to first base in an attempt to prevent the inevitable stolen base. He was unsuccessful, as Jones was able to take second on a botched hit-and-run. A couple pitches later, Danks left a navel-high changeup over the plate which Guillermo Quiroz smashed over the left field wall. It was the first HR Danks has allowed this season, the first of Quiroz' career, and it immediately decided the game.

I say the game was immediately decided because Burres is left-handed and has a changeup, which he used to carve up the 2/3rds of a major league lineup that Ozzie ran out there in the opener. Much as we saw last season, the lineup is just too easy to go through when you have 3 consecutive players who don't belong in a major league lineup. Add in the rest of the team's inability to hit LHP, to go the other way, and this one was over in the 6th.