After a rainout Tuesday shortened a four-game series between the
division rivals, the White Sox picked up Wednesday at U.S. Cellular
Field right where they left off following a win in the
After giving Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander another rough
outing to digest with an 8-2 victory, the White Sox are 2 1/2 games
back of Detroit with a chance to cut it by one more game with a
series sweep Thursday.
"We've had a good feeling from the (get-go)," said Chicago
left-hander John Danks (5-5), who picked up his second straight win
with another quality start. "We're not looking at the scoreboard
just yet or the standings. We're just trying to win every game we
can. Nothing's changed. We've been a pretty confident bunch from the
start of it and fully expect to be in the thick of it when the time
The win evened the season series at 4 between the White Sox (33-33)
and Tigers (33-28), who came into the game with a 49-22 record
against Chicago since Aug. 14, 2010 -- including a 23-13 mark at
U.S. Cellular Field in that span.
Verlander lasted only 5 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs (all
earned) on eight hits, four walks and hit a batter. He also served
up a 412-foot solo home run in the second inning to Chicago rookie
first baseman Jose Abreu, which gave the White Sox a quick 1-0 lead.
"I mean, really, I felt good," said Verlander, who allowed six of
seven runs Chicago scored in the sixth inning. "It was just the
walks. I need to limit the walks. That one huge inning, you know, I
walked a few guys and gave up a couple weak hits and turned it into
a big inning myself, when it shouldn't have been."
Danks threw his fourth consecutive quality start, allowing two runs
on six hits through seven innings and striking out four. Since
giving up eight runs (seven earned) May 18 at the Houston Astros,
Danks is 2-1 with a 1.53 ERA in his past four outings.
"I think Johnny has really picked it up," White Sox manager Robin
Ventura said. "He went through a period where he wasn't commanding
his fastball and change-up. He made some adjustments and he's really
been different since then, not only with control but it seems like
his velocity has some zip to it and his change-up looks better."
This time, Danks got plenty of run support, led by two-RBI games
from second baseman Gordon Beckham (1-for-4) and third baseman Conor
Gillaspie (1-for-5). Chicago also got multi-hit efforts from Abreu
(3-for-4, two runs), designated hitter Adam Dunn (2-for-4) and
shortstop Alexei Ramirez (2-for-4).
The loss dropped the Tigers to 6-22 since May 19, while the White
Sox are 12-9 since that point. Detroit has also lost three straight
games and eight of its past 10.
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The bigger concern, however, is getting Verlander straightened out.
He now has a 4.61 ERA and allowed five or more earned runs in five
of his past six starts. In those outings, he allowed 31 earned runs
in 32 innings for an 8.72 ERA.
The trouble this time started in the sixth, when he allowed three
straight singles to the middle of the White Sox's lineup to load the
bases with no outs. His fastball velocity was still between 95-97
mph, as it was all game, but his pitch count started climbing.
It looked like Verlander might limit the damage after trading a run
for a double play grounder by left fielder Dayan Viciedo to put
Chicago up 2-1, but that was just the start of the rally. Verlander
allowed two more singles and walked two more, making it 5-1 before
he was pulled. Left-hander Ian Krol then gave up a two-run double to
Gillaspie for the final runs tacked onto Verlander's stat line,
which included 122 pitches.
"There's nothing in particular that concerns me with Justin that I
could tell you," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We've got to find
a way to fix him. He's our horse."
NOTES: Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera started as the designated hitter for
the second straight game while allowing tightness in his left
hamstring to clear. ... Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said LHP Drew
Smyly, whose start Wednesday was skipped because of a rainout on
Tuesday, will make his next start Friday against the Minnesota
Twins. Moving back a day in the rotation is RHP Anibal Sanchez, who
will now pitch Saturday against Minnesota. ... The White Sox
announced they've reached contract agreements with 28 of their 40
picks in the 2014 draft, including nine of their top 10. The lone
unsigned player from the top 10 rounds is LHP Carlos Rodon, a junior
at North Carolina State who was picked by Chicago third overall. ...
The White Sox acquired RHP Shawn Hill from the Toronto Blue Jays for
cash considerations. He will be assigned to Triple-A Charlotte. ...
The White Sox also signed Olympic speed-skater Eddy Alvarez, who
competed in Sochi, to a contract.
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