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Indians 12, White Sox 5: John Danks shelled early

Five-run first inning by Cleveland overshadows squandered opportunities by Chicago offense

Jason Miller

For the White Sox, their pitching had such a miserable time of it that it only made the night half-frustrating. Had John Danks and the middle relief kept the game a little tighter, there'd be a lot more reason to dwell on an offense that could've scored twice as many runs as it did.

Danks put the Sox in an immediate hole by allowing five first-inning runs with a blend of bad pitching and bad luck (except, with the way he pitched, he really didn't deserve much better luck). He needed 42 pitches to 10 batters to record the first three outs, and while somehow he lasted five innings, he kept widening the gap any time his offense could give him some support. He allowed single runs in the second, third and fifth innings -- some on excuse-me damage, and a couple on gopher balls that grabbed way too much of the plate. You know, bloops and blasts.

But maybe Danks' night could have been different if the Sox didn't squander a major opportunity in the first. Adam Eaton started the game with a nine-pitch walk against Danny Salazar, and went to third on Gordon Beckham's single for an immediate scoring threat. Then Jose Abreu struck out and Adam Dunn grounded into a double play, and the idea of a big inning ended as soon as it started.

The Sox could only really score when the Indians helped. Elliot Johnson dropped two throws at second, starting the transfer without actually catching the ball. The Sox used one error as a springboard to a three-run second, with Alejandro De Aza and Adrian Nieto delivering RBI singles, and the Wild Pitch Passed Ball offense bringing in a third run.

But in the fourth, when Johnson did the same thing to load the bases with nobody out and Nieto had a 3-0 count with the bases loaded ... they somehow came away with zero runs, because Nieto struck out and Eaton grounded into a double play. Adding injury to insult, Eaton left the game by reaggravating that problematic hamstring.

Jose Abreu's 11th homer did allow the Sox to score a run on their own accord in the fifth, but their fifth run came courtesy of some two-out Wild Pitch Offense. The Sox went just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

But it didn't really matter, because Scott Downs and Maikel Cleto combined to allow four runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach. In the process, Sox pitchers managed to allow the Indians to answer all three times the Sox scored.

Bullet points:

*Beckham takes some responsibility for the four-run sixth, as he committed an error on an unsuccessful glove flip. An attempt to start a 4-6-3 double play instead recorded zero outs, and that led to two unearned runs.

*Marcus Semien committed his fifth error when he didn't get his glove down enough when trying to make a charging play on a soft grounder.

*Nieto recorded his first RBI, and went on to go 3-for-4 -- one firm single, one soft single, and one lucky double.

*De Aza had a nice game, with a pair of singles, an RBI and two runs scored.

Record: 14-16 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights