Saturday’s result: Astros 4, Sox 3
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org June 15, 2013 9:00PM
Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve tries to get the tag on Chicago White Sox's Alexei Ramirez (10) as he steals second base during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, June 15, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Karen Warren )
Updated: June 15, 2013 10:09PM
HOUSTON – The road continues to be unkind to the White Sox, who lost to the Houston Astros 4-3 on Saturday night for the 11th loss in their last 12 games away from home.
The Sox fell to 12-23 on the road, the worst record in the American League, the loss finalized when pinch runner Jordan Danks was picked off second by Jose Veras for the last out of the game.
“It’s like we’re finding new ways to do it,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “You look at the game overall, it ends in a way we don’t like. But Johnny [Danks] pitched fine, we were kind of coming back and fighting. But you’ve got to look more at the positives right now with the way it ended.’’
Jordan’s brother John Danks tried to reverse the losing trend in his fifth start since coming back from surgery last August, but was just OK, allowing four runs over six innings. It wasn’t as brilliant as his previous outing, in which he retired 21 straight Oakland A’s, but for the fourth time in five starts he wasn’t bad, either. Danks struck out five and walked one, throwing 52 of his 76 pitches for strikes.
Adam Dunn hit his 18th homer, Paul Konerko an RBI single and Gordon Beckham an RBI double against former Sox property Lucas Harrell (5-7). The Sox wasted a leadoff double in the eighth by Alexei Ramirez (2-for-4) and a leadoff walk by Dayan Viciedo in the ninth. Pinch runner Jordan Danks stole second with no outs in the ninth. But Veras struck out Beckham (2-for-4) and Tyler Flowers (1-for-4) and then picked off Danks on a close play. Shortstop Ronny Cedeno made the tag.
“We just have to clean it up,’’ Ventura said. “Once you figure out one thing, something else happens. You just stayed focused on what you’re doing.’’
Replay showed Danks was out on a close call by Dana DeMuth. Danks argued, Ventura didn’t. The manager came out to escort Danks off the field.
“I thought I got in there,’’ Danks said. “Obviously I told him… I knew it was close. I told him I’m not saying it wasn’t close, but I didn’t think it was close enough to end the game that way. But what are you going to do about it.”
De Aza was in the batter’s box but didn’t see a pitch.
“I saw they were both way off so I got a little bigger,’’ Danks said of the middle infielders. “I looked over at Joe [McEwing, the third base coach] and he was saying, ‘get a big lead. You’re coming around, no matter what if the ball gets in play.’ Just one of those things.”
Danks (1-3, 4.50) gave up bases-empty homers to Jason Castro and Chris Carter in the fourth inning, sandwiched by RBI doubles from Ronny Cedeno in the second inning and Brandon Barnes in the fifth.
The Sox, who lost for the second time in the first of two games in a four-game series, fell to 28-37. The Astros improved to 24-44.
“There’s still a lot of baseball left,’’ John Danks said. “We haven’t counted ourselves out. Obviously we are not in a very good position right now, but there’s a lot of baseball left. We have a lot of games against the teams ahead of us. We are working hard. We have a lot of talent on this team. It just hasn’t clicked. It seems like sometimes we are almost finding ways to lose.’’