Sports

Danks mystifies M’s

Right-hander notches first victory of season

CHICAGO – The Seattle Mariners continue to search for offense and keep coming up empty.

Paul Konerko homered and John Danks pitched into the eighth inning for his first victory of the season, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 3-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.

The Mariners are tied for last in the American League, scoring fewer than four runs per game.

“It’s getting real old waiting until late in the game to make things happen,” said Brendan Ryan. “I don’t know what the answer is to that, I can only speak for myself. We just can’t wait until late to create.”

Seattle wasted another quality start by rookie Michael Pineda (6-3), who allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings. He struck out three and walked two.

“Michael pitched a great game again,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “He gave us every opportunity to win the ballgame, we just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”

Pineda has pitched seven innings and allowed two runs or fewer in four of his five last starts.

“You almost come to expect outings like that from him,” Ryan said. “He’s been outstanding and it’s even more disappointing to not give him some help. When you throw as well as he did, you deserve the ‘W’. You deserve some help.”

Seattle had its chances in the low-scoring game. Ryan hit a line drive into the right-center field gap in the second inning with a runner on first, but a stellar diving catch by Brent Lillibridge robbed the Mariners of their first run.

“(The White Sox) did a good job defensively,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “We had some good passes at the ball, hit some balls hard and don’t have anything to show for it.”

Ryan singled in the eighth to knock Danks out of the game, but when reliever Jesse Crain’s offering to Justin Smoak bounced away from catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Ryan was gunned down trying to advance to second.

“I want him to be aggressive in that situation. I want him to have that type of mentality,” Wedge said. “More times than not, you’re going to make that,”

Ryan credited Crain’s pickoff move as a potential reason why he didn’t make it to second.

“I shortened up a little bit. Film warned me, but that’s one of the quicker ones,” he said. “Give some credit to A.J. for making the play. I don’t regret taking a chance there. I should have been there.”

The White Sox beat the Mariners for the ninth straight time at U.S. Cellular Field and are 13-1 at home against Seattle dating to August 18, 2008. The White Sox also matched a club record for the most consecutive home wins against the Mariners.

In his 12th start of the season, Danks (1-8) did not resemble the pitcher that lost his first eight decisions. The left-hander pitched 7 1/3 innings and only allowed one unearned run on seven hits. He struck out six and walked one.

Pierzynski also added an RBI single in the eighth off Mariners reliever David Pauley.

Chicago closer Sergio Santos pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 12 opportunities.

Greg Halman was 3 for 3 for the Mariners and is 7 for 8 since getting called up on Sunday.

The White Sox have won five of their last seven overall.

Konerko hit a leadoff home run off Pineda in the fourth inning. The ball just cleared the left-field wall for his 13th of season.

After getting knocked down by a 95 mph fastball from Pineda, Gordon Beckham came back with an RBI single to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead in the seventh.

Seattle finally got on the board against Danks in the eighth. Halman led off with an infield single and advanced to second after first baseman Adam Dunn couldn’t glove a pickoff attempt by Danks. After advancing to third on Ichiro Suzuki’s groundout, Halman scored on Brendan Ryan’s single.

Danks rebounded from his worst performance of the season. In his last start May 29 at Toronto, Danks gave up nine runs and nine hits – including three homers – over four innings in a 13-4 loss. He became the first White Sox pitcher since Eddie Smith in 1942 to start 0-8.

Dunn struck out in the eighth with the bases loaded, going 0 for 4, dropping his average to .176.

Notes

The MRI on White Sox right-handed pitcher Jake Peavy showed a mild right groin strain. He will be evaluated on a daily basis. … The White Sox hired Robin Ventura as special adviser to player development director Buddy Bell. … The last time the White Sox won nine straight at home against the Mariners was May 10, 1994, to May 12, 1995. … The White Sox selected switch-hitting outfielder Keenyn Walker with their first pick, 47th overall. Walker hit .402 with four home runs and 50 runs batted in for Central Arizona.



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