Danks helps White Sox stay tied for first place
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—John Danks has some kind of hold on Oakland, and the left-hander refuses to attempt an explanation.
Danks pitched six effective innings to win his fifth straight decision on the road, and the Chicago White Sox edged the Athletics 2-1 on Saturday.
Danks (10-5) extended his dominance of the A’s, allowing one run and six hits. He walked a career-high five and struck out five. He’s won all four career starts against Oakland, giving up four runs in 26 innings for a 1.38 ERA. It’s his best ERA against any team.
“I don’t have any secret,” Danks said. “I feel like I just have better games against them. I don’t know why, because they’re a tough team. I’ll take it. It’s always good to win here in Oakland. We haven’t done that over the last few years.”
Danks also lowered his road ERA to 2.54, third-best in the AL.
“You never want to have five walks,” he said. “It was a struggle to say the least. I was one pitch away from every inning, except for the sixth, from having them blow the thing wide open. I’d like it to be a little bit easier next time out.”
Carlos Quentin added two hits and has reached base in seven of nine plate appearances during the series. Chicago snapped a three-game road skid by winning its fourth in five overall.
“Every time we come here you always think something is going to happen in a negative way and we’ve got to try to not think that way or say we’ve got to do this or that,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “It’s an ugly game, but we won it. I don’t know how we did it.”
Chicago has had its difficulty in Oakland, dropping 28 of its last 35 here. The White Sox scored twice in the second and then handed the game over to the pitching staff.
“I wonder why they call this place a Coliseum,” Guillen said. “Maybe every time everybody comes here, get ready to be killed. They made a couple of plays in the last couple of innings to make it interesting but our pitching staff and our bullpen did a tremendous job to hold those guys.”
Emil Brown drove in a run for the A’s, who have not won consecutive games since July 10-11.
“We didn’t get anything going,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “We had the bases loaded with no outs and again with one out and we didn’t score. Those are big situations, and they are magnified when you’re not scoring. Every run becomes crucial. If we get one or two more runs we’d get a few more wins.”
“We’re trying to win every game, so it’s the same intensity,” Hall said.
Greg Smith (5-12) turned in a decent effort, giving up two runs and eight hits in five innings. But he fell to 0-6 in his last eight starts.
“Greg didn’t really have great command of the strike zone, but to his credit he only gave up a couple of runs and kept us in the game,” Geren said. “Our problem is not in runs allowed, but in scoring runs. Our pitching staff gives us a chance to win every time.”
Smith has been hurt by a lack of run support. The A’s have scored two or fewer runs in 17 of his 24 starts.
The A’s have not put together a winning streak over the past 29 games, their longest such streak since 1979. … Danks has not lost on the road since May 3 in Toronto. … White Sox INF Alexei Ramirez has reached base in his last 11 games. … Oakland INF Mark Ellis is a .167 career hitter against the White Sox, his lowest mark against any AL team.