Danks two-hits Angels in ChiSox win
John Danks held the Angels hitless for six innings before finishing with a two-hitter Thursday, and the surging Chicago White Sox beat Los Angeles 1-0 for a four-game sweep and their 22nd victory in 27 games.
Danks (8-7) gave up a leadoff single to Reggie Willits in the seventh, stopping his bid for the fifth no-hitter in the big leagues this season. But after yielding another single, he pitched out of trouble and got his first major league shutout.
Chicago won its fifth straight and moved within a half game of idle Detroit for first place in the AL Central.
Stepping up just a day after the White Sox learned they might be without ace Jake Peavy for the rest of the season, Danks, whose previous low-hit performance was a three-hitter last September against the Indians — his only other complete game — worked quickly and was in control of his pitches from the outset.
The sturdy lefty had no walks and seven strikeouts on a humid 79-degree day, winning a duel with the Angels’ Ervin Santana in a game that took only 1 hour, 50 minutes.
Chicago got a run off Santana (8-7) in the first as he hit leadoff batter Juan Pierre with a pitch, Alex Rios doubled to left and Paul Konerko delivered a sacrifice fly.
Willits grounded a single just underneath the reach of Chicago shortstop Alexei Ramirez to lead off the seventh for the first hit against Danks, who’d lost his previous two starts. Howie Kendrick then followed with a single up the middle and the Angels had their first threat of the game.
But Danks escaped, getting Torii Hunter on a fielder’s choice, Mike Napoli on a pop and then leaping high to snag Juan Rivera’s comebacker before throwing him out.
The only Angel to get on base in the first five innings was Cory Aldridge, who reached on third baseman Omar Vizquel’s two-out error in the third. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski then made a nice sliding, bobbling catch of Erick Aybar’s foul pop to end the inning.
Santana gave up only three hits.
NOTES: With the southpaw Danks on the mound, Angels manager Mike Scioscia gave slumping lefties Hideki Matsui (4 for 22 in July) and Bobby Abreu (1 for 24) the day off. “They’ve played so much, it’s good, mentally, just to take a breather,” he said. … Manager Ozzie Guillen was asked how the White Sox would fill the rotation vacancy created by the injury to Peavy, who has a detached muscle behind his pitching shoulder. “I think you got to stay in the organization. You don’t just pull up the magic thing and make a trade,” Guillen said. “That’s not easy. When you go into the trade market, there’s a lot going on. I think you’ve got to stay in the organization.” Daniel Hudson, 11-4 at Triple-A Charlotte, is a possibility.