Take away the home runs and John Danks is having a pretty sharp season.
Unfortunately, he’s now given up 10 home runs in just 35 innings of work after the four bombs he allowed in Minnesota’s 8-4 sweep-completing win over the White Sox Thursday afternoon. It’s an awful thing to see Danks take two huge steps back after his dominant June 8 start against the Oakland A’s, but at this point the White Sox are too awful to ever be disappointed in.
Sitting in the mid-80′s all day and with a non-dominant form of his changeup, Danks was shelled to the tune of 12 hits in five innings. He needed miracles to make it through the first inning unscathed through the heart of the Twins batting order, but it made no difference with the terror bestowed upon Danks by the bottom of the Minnesota roster.
Oswaldo Arcia started the home run derby with a no-doubter solo shot to right field in the second, followed by a Brian Dozier towering fly ball off the second deck in left later in the inning to make it 3-0. The next time the bottom of the Twins order came around, they were ready for Danks again. Clete Thomas ripped his first home run of the season out to right field, and was immediately followed by a back-to-back shot from former friend-turned-highly aggrieved enemy, Eduardo Escobar.
Eduardo Escobar pulled a ball off John Danks 400 feet out to left field off John Danks while he flips his glove in defeat. He’s hit two of three home runs on the year against the Sox. This is the state of White Sox baseball in 2013 and it is absolutely terrifying.
The White Sox offense is a travesty, so naturally their path to four runs in a game was a bizarre one. In the fourth inning, they reached base safely five times, got the ball out of the infield twice and scored once on a throwing error. At least Jeff Keppinger got to be a part of something fun.
Twins starter Scott Diamond was throwing loopy, high 89 mph fastballs all day, but was only suddenly found out in the sixth inning. After a leadoff single to Alex Rios, Diamond allowed back-to-back bullet line drive home runs to Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn (remember being excited about that combination?) to cut the lead to 6-4. After which Dayan Viciedo flied out and the Sox bats weren’t heard from again.
The game immediately went from interesting to distinctly uninteresting in a hurry when a two-out rally off Matt Lindstrom, extended by an Alexei Ramirez error, was capped off by a Joe Mauer two-run single.
By pitching a scoreless seventh, Jesse Crain broke the franchise record for consecutive scoreless appearances with 28.
The White Sox have 17 out of their last 22 games.
Team Record: 29-41
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan