Stymied early by Justin Masterson, the White Sox were finally able to begin digging out of a 3-0 hole when Alejandro De Aza shot a two-run single off Masterson (literally) in the fifth inning.
The next inning, John Danks gave up a solo homer to Asdrubal Cabrera, because it was the sixth inning, and he's John Danks.
But lo! The Sox came right back with a solid Alex Rios single up the middle, which scored A.J. Pierzynski (by way of an aggressive Joe McEwing send), making it a one-run affair once again.
This time, Danks undid the progress and then some. He gave up three hits to left-handed hitters -- a pair of one-out singles, and a two-out homer by Jason Kipnis that cleared the bases, and also put the game out of reach. The Sox finished the homestand 2-5 in a fittingly frustrating fashion.
The game didn't start out well for Danks, either. He pitched around an errant pickoff throw in the first inning, but a second error in the second inning came back to haunt him. He was able to knock a Michael Brantley comebacker up in the air, but he couldn't field it cleanly on the way down. After a couple more fumbles and stumbles, Danks tried flipping the ball to Paul Konerko, but missed by about 10 feet too high. That put Brantley on second, and Casey Kotchman singled to center for the first run of the game.
After giving up the two singles to left-handed hitters in the second, he started the third with two more. Johnny Damon roped a double to right, and De Aza got turned around twice on a high Kipnis drive hit right over his head, turning it into a triple. An Asdrubal Cabrera single later, Danks and the Sox trailed 3-0, and the boos started as well.
Danks ended up giving up seven runs over seven innings, inflating his ERA to 6.51.
The Sox offense had an OK night, actually outhitting the Indians 11-9. But they needed one more big hit to cover up for Danks, and they couldn't find it. They stranded runners in scoring position in each of the final four innings, and looked increasingly graceless while doing so.
In the eighth, Eduardo Escobar hit a shallow fly to center with runners on the corners. Gordon Beckham, who was on first, took off and rounded second before realizing there was only one out. He stumbled and fell while trying to reverse course, and watched from his seat as the Indians doubled him off.
An Adam Dunn two-run homer narrowed the gap to two in the ninth, forcing Manny Acta to call on closer Chris Perez. Perez walked Paul Konerko on four pitches (he might have been rusty, as he warmed up in a hurry), but struck out A.J. Pierzynski on a full-count, knee-high fastball over the plate for the second out. Rios followed with a groundout to short to end the game, and he exchanged words with Perez as he made his way back to the dugout.
- Seven of the nine hits Danks allowed were to left-handed hitters.
- Konerko drew three walks. So did Kosuke Fukudome -- and all three were on four pitches.
- Nate Jones hit 100 mph on a fastball.