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John Danks remains in a funk as Sox fall to Indians 7-5

ClevelIndians v Chicago White Sox

Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox

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Updated: June 5, 2012 11:43AM

Another start, another dud for White Sox left-hander John Danks, who fooled just about no one in the Cleveland Indians’ lefty-dominated lineup on Thursday night.

Danks gave up seven runs on nine hits and a walk, striking out one in seven sweaty innings of the Indians’ 7-5 victory in the rubber game of a three-game series.

“It’s getting comical. I don’t know,’’ Danks said.

If the Sox are going to be playing serious games in August and September, they’re going to need much more from their Opening Day starter who received a $65 million, five-year extension over the off-season.

Nobody knows that more than Danks himself.

‘’I want to go out there and be the guy,’’ Danks said.

Danks (2-4, 6.51 ERA) gave up seven runs in his last outing and hasn’t had a great one yet. He was his own worst critic after the game.

“We have to do something,’’ said Danks, who, not unlike lefty changeup artist Tom Glavine has been susceptible to left-handed lineups such as the Indians’. “Whatever we’re doing, it isn’t working.”

Glenbrook North grad Jason Kipnis, playing before family and friends among the 17,314 at U.S. Cellular Field, lined a three-run homer into the right-field bullpen in the seventh to give the Indians a 7-3 lead. Kipnis also tripled in a run.

Adam Dunn’s two-run homer in the ninth against Dan Wheeler forced Indians manager Manny Acta to bring in closer Chris Perez, who walked Paul Konerko before getting A.J. Pierzynski on a called third strike and Alex Rios on a grounder to short.

Rios took offense to Perez’s ­exuberant reaction, and umpires intervened as players walked off.

“If he was celebrating, that was not the right way to do it,’’ said Rios, who was 2-for-4 with an RBI. “I have no clue what he was saying. He was just staring and screaming while I was running to first.’’

Sox frustration stemmed from leaving 10 runners on base while going 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Gordon Beckham showed more signs of life with two singles, but was doubled up on a fly ball that ended the eighth inning.

“[Justin] Masterson was good tonight,’’ Dunn said. “He had a ­really good slider, but we were getting hits and had our opportunities. We just couldn’t get the big one to get us back in the game.’’

Danks was wild around the plate and to first base early. He fell behind in counts and made a throwing error in each of the first two innings, the first on a pickoff move to first.

With two outs in the second, Danks failed to barehand Michael Brantley’s high chopper and made a high underhand flip to Konerko with no chance to retire Brantley. Casey Kotchman made that hurt by scoring Brantley with a single. Then came Asdrubal Cabrera’s homer in the sixth.

Manager Robin Ventura said Danks “is going to be fine” but Danks wasn’t so easy on himself. One thing he’s sure of is that his performance is unrelated to pressure from the big contract.

“I’ve been asked that a couple times now, and that’s the furthest thing,’’ Danks said. “Granted, I understand the thought and angle of that question, but that’s the furthest from the truth. That’s not a topic.

“The problem is I’m not ­making pitches and I’m getting my ass kicked out there. Got to do ­something.”

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