John Danks had plenty of trouble even with a watered-down Detroit Tigers lineup.
Danks gave up homers to Prince Fielder, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter, and the Tigers overpowered the Chicago White Sox in a 6-2 victory on Wednesday night.
Anibal Sanchez pitched six scoreless innings against Chicago to help Detroit win, despite missing top-hitter Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera, the reigning AL MVP and baseball’s first Triple Crown winner in 45 years last season, left Monday’s game in the bottom of the fifth inning with a left hip flexor injury. He hasn’t played since and might sit out Thursday, too, when the Tigers go for a four-game sweep.
Danks (2-8) lost his second straight start and is winless since July 2. He worked seven innings and gave up six runs and 11 hits – including three home runs. Danks is 4-8 against Detroit.
”It falls squarely on me. This is no one else’s fault. It was just one of those nights. There is no other way to explain it, just wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do,” Danks said. ”That’s just the way it goes. I understand what happened. I understand adjustments need to be made and we will work on it.”
Danks has yielded 17 homers in 12 starts for Chicago, which dropped to 20 games below .500 for the first time Sept. 26, 2007. The White Sox are a season-high 16 games out of first place.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura thinks trade rumors are impacting his players. The July 31 trade deadline is just a week away.
”There are a lot of things floating out there that make it more difficult for guys to just play baseball,” he said. ”I think subconsciously it is in there. Whether you like to think so or not, it’s there, because everything is floating out there. I’ll be glad when it turns August.”
Detroit, even without Cabrera who is hitting .358 with 31 homers and 96 RBIs, showed plenty of power. Danks matched his season-high by allowing six earned runs.
”We need (Cabrera) on the end,” Sanchez said. ”He’s a big piece of the lineup, and we need to try to play hard without him.”
Detroit has won four straight and 13 of 21.
”I thought we played good. We pitched pretty good and got some big hits,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
Sanchez (8-7) earned his first win since July 6, allowing six hits and striking out five. The right-hander had only allowed five earned runs in his previous two starts, both losses.
Fielder gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead in the first with his 17th home run. Hunter reached on a fielder’s choice, and Matt Tuiasosopo walked before Fielder hit a 1-0 pitch into deep right-center field for his first homer since July 10.
”There are lot of pitches I would like to have back,” Danks said. ”It was a 1-0 count. It was a fastball count and for some reason I threw a fastball to a good hitter.”
Danks retired the first two batters in the second before Jackson hooked the first pitch around the foul pole in left to make it 4-0.
Alexei Ramirez’s throwing error on Hernan Perez’s grounder in the fourth was Chicago’s 69th of the season, after the White Sox committed 70 in 2012. Danks got out of the inning by getting Alex Avila to ground to second.
In the fifth, Hunter hit his ninth homer of the season to give Detroit a 5-0 lead. Hunter went 2 for 5, improving to .354 in July.
Detroit added to its lead in the sixth on an RBI single by Avila.
The White Sox avoided a shutout in the seventh on Ramirez’s RBI single off Bruce Rondon, bringing in Dayan Viciedo. Viciedo also homered leading off the ninth and had three hits, as did Alejandro De Aza.
NOTES: RHP Jair Jurrjens signed a Triple-A contract and will join Detroit’s affiliate Toledo on Friday. Jurrjens started his career with the Tigers in 2007 and spent five seasons with Atlanta before signing with Baltimore. He made two appearances this season before becoming a free agent on July 18. … Leyland said 2B Ramon Santiago would start Thursday. … Both White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy and right fielder Alex Rios addressed trade speculation surrounding them. Peavy, bothered by sore ribs after his Saturday start, said he is ”pretty abreast” of what’s happening and won’t ”be caught off guard” if he is traded. Rios said he doesn’t ”have people asking me or telling me what is going on” and he has ”no idea” what will happen. … White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham missed his fourth straight game with a strained left wrist sustained Friday. He took soft tosses. … White Sox RHP Jesse Crain, out since July 3 with a strained right shoulder, played catch and said he felt OK. … Thursday’s pitching matchup features two former Cy Young Award winners, with Detroit’s Justin Verlander (10-7, 3.69) facing Peavy (7-4, 4.19).