Danks, White Sox rally to beat Astros

Brian Hedger, The Sports Xchange

CHICAGO -- Jordan Danks wasn't "John Danks' brother" on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

Instead, you could make the argument it was the other way around. The younger Danks came up big again for the Chicago White Sox by leading the way to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory against the Houston Astros -- hitting a two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning to score the game-deciding runs.

Danks, who set a career high in hits by going 3-for-4, also came through in an opportunity he's not used to getting from manager Robin Ventura.

"I'm feeling good at the plate and I was really happy Robin let me stay in there at the end," said Danks, who also extended his career-high hitting streak to nine games. "I know there was a lefty going (Erik Bedard) and a lot of times I don't get to face guys like that, especially with guys in scoring position. I always like to be that guy. Even if you don't come through, you want to be in that situation."

Lately, Danks has come through in most situations -- much like his team. The White Sox (55-76) have won nine of their last 11 games and 15 of the last 22, and they have a major-league best 9-2 mark since Aug. 16. They've also got a chance to win their sixth series since the All-Star break on Wednesday in the series finale against the Astros (44-87).

"It's a lot of fun," Danks said. "It kind of reminds you of last year and how fun that was, even though we didn't pull it out in the end. It (stinks) we haven't done it the whole year, but this is how we know we can play."

Paul Konerko also came through in Chicago's three-run eight by smacking a two-out RBI single off Bedard to make it 3-2 and set the stage for Danks.

Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his 36th save and Donnie Veal (2-3) picked up the win by throwing a scoreless 1/3 inning in the top of the eighth -- stranding two runners to keep the Sox within striking distance.

The ninth was a chance at redemption for Reed, who gave up back-to-back solo homers in the ninth inning of Houston's 10-8 win on Monday night.

"I wanted to go out there right after the game was over last night," Reed said. "I was hoping I would get in there today, and things worked out and (we) got out of here with a win."

Chicago's late heroics spoiled a solid effort by Houston rookie Paul Clemens, who made his first major league start after beginning the season in the Astros' bullpen. Clemens was back up for the first time since being sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City to stretch out his arm, and he showed why the plan is for him to join the Astros' six-man rotation for the rest of the season.

He needed just 78 pitches (45 strikes) to get through six innings and allowed only one run. Clemens was largely efficient on a hot, humid night that was conducive to home runs. He struck out just two but gave up just four hits and two walks.

"Clemens did his job," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "He did a good job of battling. His command was not there the whole night and (he) ran into a little bit of trouble, but he was able to make some good pitches to get out of some tough situations."

Clemens' counterpart was nearly as good for Chicago.

Jose Quintana went 7 2/3 innings and allowed three runs in taking yet another no-decision. It was Quintana's second no-decision in a row and 16th in 27 starts this season, the most in the majors.

Houston scored in the fourth, sixth and eighth innings against the Sox left-hander, but he forced them to earn all three. Quintana also struck out eight and matched his second-longest outing of the year.

Matt Dominguez led the way offensively for Houston for a second straight night, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Former White Sox prospect Chris Carter followed up his two-homer performance on Monday by singling in the Astros' third run for a 3-1 lead in the eighth.

Bedard just couldn't hold the lead in his second inning.

"I was actually trying to get him to go ahead and finish it," Porter said. "He's obviously built up. He's been starting all year. He's able to get lefties and righties out, (so) you feel pretty good that Erik Bedard had the ball in that situation."

Konerko and Avisail Garcia each went 2-for-4 with RBI singles for Chicago, which also got a 2-for-3 game out of Alexei Ramirez, who scored twice.

NOTES: Newly promoted Leury Garcia is likely to start at shortstop for Chicago in the series finale on Wednesday to spell Alexei Ramirez. ... The White Sox extended condolences to former pitcher Jack Harshman's family. Harshman, who spent four of his nine seasons with the Sox, died on Aug. 17 in Georgetown, Texas. Harshman struck out a franchise-record 16 batters on July 25, 1954, at Boston. ... The Astros officially recalled Clemens earlier in the day and sent RHP David Martinez back to Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... Before the game, Porter didn't have an update on injured catchers Max Stassi and Carlos Corporan, who both remain on the seven-day concussion disabled list. ... Porter said infielders and outfielders were addressed about several mental errors that were committed in Monday night's game, including CF Brandon Barnes missing the cutoff man and allowing the eventual tying run to advance to second.