It took facing the Mariners offense to finally get left-hander John Danks his first win of the season, as he bounced back from an 0-8 start to limit Seattle to an unearned run over 7 1/3 innings in the White Sox’s 3-1 victory tonight.
In doing so, Danks outpitched Rookie of the Year favorite Michael Pineda, who allowed two runs over seven innings in taking his third loss.
Danks was the first White Sox pitcher since Eddie Smith in 1942 to start a season 0-8.
The left-hander pitched in awful luck early on, going 0-3 despite a 3.27 ERA in his first five starts. However, he had legitimately struggled lately, especially last week when he gave up nine runs to the Blue Jays and got into a dispute with Jose Bautista. His ERA was up to 5.25 going into this one, and he had struck out a total of six batters in his last three starts.
Tonight, Danks fanned six and walked just one. Jesse Crain and Sergio Santos finished up from there, with Santos earning his 11th save.
Thie White Sox are 13-1 in their last 14 games against the Mariners.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.
Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez made his debut with his new team on Thursday night after a brief stint with Triple-A Round Rock. He started in left field and was inserted into the number eight spot in the Rangers’ batting order.
The Rangers made two quick outs in the bottom of the second inning, with Adrian Beltre grounding out and Rougned Odor striking out. But the inning was kept alive as Jonathan Lucroy singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and then Mitch Moreland walked to bring up Gomez.
Gomez took a first-pitch cutter from Josh Tomlin for a ball, then jumped on another cut fastball, drilling it for a no-doubt three-run home run into the seats in left field at Globe Life Park in Arlington (#29 out of 30 in Craig’s ballpark name rankings).
Here’s the video.