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Danks eager for tonight's game

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[Scot Gregor]

"I heard plenty last year that I tired out in the second half, that I wasn't physically ready,'' Danks said. "When I was working out in the off-season, I had that on the top of my mind.''

Danks added 10 pounds of muscle during the winter to prepare himself for the full grind.

"I'm struggling to keep it on right now, but I feel great,'' Danks said. "I feel a lot stronger. So far, I'm very pleased with how my year is going. But I still have 14-15 more starts, and hopefully more in the playoffs.''

Danks, who has the third-lowest ERA among American League starters, credits strength and experience for his stellar season to date.

But the lefty said the addition of a cut fastball has been the biggest difference.

"Last year, the fastball was the only hard pitch I was throwing and it was hard to keep hitters off it,'' Danks said. "Now, with the cutter, I can use my other pitches off of it.'' ...

... Danks is leaving 40 tickets for family members and friends for tonight's game against Texas.

"I'm really looking forward to it because a lot of them have never seen me pitch,'' Danks said. "I was happy being here with the Rangers and I live pretty close to here, but I'm very happy where I'm at. I love Chicago and my teammates here.''