ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—This wasn’t the same John Danks(notes) the Los Angeles Angels struggled against last season. The same can be said for the more potent lineup the beleaguered left-hander had to face—as opposed to the last two times he saw them.
“We’re still not full-tilt on the offensive side, but it’s a good sign some guys are getting back in their game,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s easy to look at our pitching side and marvel at what they’ve done. Our pitching staff has held up and carried a lion’s share of our wins.”
Joel Pineiro(notes) (2-0) allowed two runs and eight hits over 7 2-3 innings in his third start. The right-hander, whose season was delayed because of a sore shoulder, struck five and walked one in his home debut. Fernando Rodney(notes) got the final out of the eighth inning and Scott Downs(notes) finished up with a perfect ninth.
“Joel mixed up his pitches, changed speeds, pitched well,” Scioscia said. “He really has four pitches he can use, and when he mixed them up, he can be effective.”
Danks (0-6) won both his outings against the Angels last year en route to a career-high 15 victories. On July 8, he beat them 1-0 at Chicago with a two-hitter for his first major league shutout after Reggie Willits(notes) broke up his no-hit bid in the seventh with a leadoff single.
“The best thing about it is that it was last year. This year is totally different,” Angels right fielder Torii Hunter(notes) said. “We’ve got some new players and some young guys like Callaspo who can really get it done. So this is a different ballclub.”
Danks (0-6) gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings, raising his ERA to 4.50. He became the first White Sox pitcher to lose his first six decisions in a season since 1987, when Neil Allen was 0-7 in 10 starts before getting demoted to the bullpen by manager Jim Fregosi.
“This is getting old. It really is,” Danks said. “It’s frustrating. I don’t really know how else to put it. I think I’ve said that a lot this year. I’m out of reasons for it. I don’t know. I’m doing the same thing I’ve done my whole career, but it’s just not working out.
“I’m more frustrated than I’ve ever been in my career,” he added. “I feel like I’ve thrown the ball better than my record shows, but I’m still 0-6. I need to pull my weight and get better. I don’t want to be the weak link on the team, but deep down, I almost kind of feel like that.”
Danks is the first White Sox starter in the last seven games who failed to last seven innings. The last time the team had seven consecutive starts of seven or more innings was 1996.
“The other 24 guys in here and the coaching staff have been awesome, so I don’t feel like I’m alone or on an island by any means,” Danks said. “I mean, I came into the dugout between innings and the guys are reiterating that they’re in my corner. I wouldn’t say they’re talking me off the ledge, but they’re keeping me within arm’s reach so that I don’t jump off the ledge just yet. I have a pretty strong backbone.”
The Angels took a 3-0 lead in the first on Hunter’s RBI single and a two-run single by Callaspo, who was erased in a rundown for the third out of the inning after the throw toward the plate from left fielder Juan Pierre(notes) was cut off by third baseman Brent Morel(notes).
Paul Konerko(notes) led off the White Sox second with a drive to left-center for his ninth homer and the 374th of his career, tying Rocky Colavito for 67th place all-time. But the Angels increased the margin to 5-1 with a pair of runs in the third. Izturis homered to left-center, Howie Kendrick(notes) legged out a double to left and Callaspo drove him in with a single.
Kendrick doubled again in the fifth to drive in the Angels’ sixth run after Hunter reached on an infield single and continued to second on Morel’s throwing error. Morel committed his second error of the night in the sixth when he tried to one-hand a popup by Bobby Abreu(notes) and missed it.
NOTES: Angels LF Vernon Wells(notes), who sustained a groin injury Monday night that landed him on the disabled list, was re-examined by team doctors—and the results of his MRI were less drastic than the club had feared. “One thing I think we can exhale about is that it didn’t show any major tears or nothing that shouldn’t heal over a reasonable amount of time,” Scioscia said. “What that time period is remains to be seen. But for what his symptoms were last night and what he felt, we were probably bracing for something more severe than the news that we got today.” … Kendrick, the Angels’ regular second baseman, started in LF for the first time in his professional career—and did not get to field a single flyball or line drive before switching to 1B in the eighth. Kendrick doesn’t own an outfielder’s glove, so Hunter—a nine-time Gold Glove outfielder — loaned him one of his. … Pierre, who leads all active players with 533 stolen bases and 180 bunt hits, grounded into his first double play of the season in his 138th at-bat. … Willits was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to replace Wells on the 25-man roster.