The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

May 19, 2014

Astros batter Danks, White Sox

HOUSTON (AP) — Chicago White Sox left-hander John Danks struggled to keep the Houston Astros in the park Sunday.

Danks allowed three home runs — the most allowed in nine starts — in his shortest outing of the season, and the White Sox fell to the Astros 8-2.

“I did a terrible job of keeping the ball in the ballpark, terrible job of getting in pitcher’s counts,” Danks (3-4) said. “I didn’t make a pitch when I needed to.”

At the very least, it wasn’t the kind of effort the Austin, Texas, native had envisioned putting on.

“This one stings a little bit,” Danks said. “I was excited coming in, pitching at home — had a lot of people here... It (stinks).”

Other than Adrian Nieto, who went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, Chicago struggled offensively against Astros right-hander Brad Peacock (1-4).

It was Chicago’s second straight loss and seventh in 10 games.

Chris Carter gave the Astros the lead with a solo shot in the second, and Matt Dominguez hit two-run homers in the third and fifth innings off Danks.

“(He) had a good day,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Dominguez, who had four RBIs.

“He can hit. He has a lot of power. Anytime you put it in there, in his happy zone, he can get rid of it.”

Ventura’s assessment went to the reason for Danks’ struggles at Minute Maid Park.

“Any time you get the ball up, especially in this ballpark, you’re going to create a lot of problems,” Ventura said.

Danks — who entered the game having allowed five homers, four of them in May — was done after just 4 2/3 innings.

He allowed eight runs, including seven earned, and 10 hits. He struck out seven, walked three and hit Carlos Corporan.

“Early on, obviously, the changeup was good, but I made an adjustment,” Danks said. “I think it was (Jesus) Guzman had very good at-bat against my changeup, took a good swing, and I kind of sensed that they were starting to sit on that.

“So I tried to change my game plan a little bit, and that backfired on me.”

Danks gave up at least one homer for his fourth consecutive start and fell to 1-3 in that stretch after allowing just one homer through five starts in April, when he was 2-1.

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