John Danks had one of his classic starts, which is not to be confused with a gem.
He surrendered homers to Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols in the first inning to put the White Sox down 3-0, yet somehow finished seven innings, although the Angels bled him for two more runs on groundouts to third that Tyler Saladino couldn't convert.
Danks gave the White Sox a puncher's chance to get back in it, but the offense only had jabs in their arsenal when they could've used a haymaker.
A big part of it was Garrett Richards and the Angels bullpen, which kept the White Sox grounded all too literally. Richards induced 13 groundouts, three of which turned into White Sox double plays, two of them by Melky Cabrera. Joe Smith and Huston Street followed suit, resulting in this meager inventory of balls hit in the air:
- Jose Abreu line-drive single in the first.
- Tyler Flowers popout in the third.
- Abreu double to left in the sixth.
- Cabrera shallow flyout in the ninth.
That was it. The offense was basically Jose Abreu and the Fielder's Choice (playing at a bar near you). He went 3-for-4 with the lone extra-base hit, as well as the lone run-scoring drive. Otherwise, the Sox added runs on groundouts in the second and eighth.
After the first-inning blasts, Danks did a similarly nice job of keeping the ball on the ground. He just didn't have the same luck. With two outs in the fourth, Saladino made a stop on a Carlos Perez grounder deep by third, but he dropped his elbow in an attempt to make a super-strong throw and it sailed on him. Johnny Giavotella, who was on second after at two-out double, rounded third with a purpose while Saladino tried making the play and scored easily.
Saladino found himself in a similar situation with two outs in the seventh and a runner on third. Shane Victorino hit a grounder toward the line. Saladino made a nice backhand stab and threw across his body, but it took Abreu off the bag toward home plate, and Abreu whiffed trying to glove the bounce and apply a quick tag. That one was a legit infield single -- it only looked worse after the true error three innings earlier.
The insurance runs hurt, as Danks served a purpose by going seven innings and inducing 15 groundouts himself. It's just that five of his seven baserunners scored.
*The Sox got a run out of Abreu batting second, as his double came with two outs and Saladino -- batting ninth -- on third.
*J.B. Shuck batted fifth, which really illustrates the effect of Adam LaRoche's collapse.
*Adam Eaton almost walked into the dugout after his run-scoring fielder's choice in the eighth, as he thought it was the third out. If he stepped into the dugout, it would've been.