Danks allows 3 HRs as White Sox fall 6-2, 20 games below .500
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org July 24, 2013 10:12PM
Updated: July 24, 2013 10:55PM
White Sox manager Robin Ventura will be glad when July is over.
And not only because the Sox, who lost again to the Detroit Tigers 6-2 on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, are 7-12 this month.
While the Sox, who fell to 15-35 over their last 50 games, have earned that record, trade rumors that circulate the names of Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez, Alejandro De Aza, Jesse Crain, Jake Peavy and others have made playing through a prolonged slump tougher than usual.
“Yeah, there are a lot of things floating out there that make it more difficult for guys to just play baseball because subconsciously it’s in there whether you like to think so or not,’’ Ventura said after the Sox fell to 39-59. “It’s there. Everything’s floating out there. I’ll be glad when it turns August.’’
The Sox have only themselves for putting general manager Rick Hahn in trade mode as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches. In the latest loss, starter John Danks was tagged for three homers, including a three-run blast by Prince Fielder in the first inning, and the Sox fell to 20 games below .500 for the first time since 2007.
Danks (2-8, 4.81 ERA) lasted through seven innings and gave up six runs on 11 hits including homers by Fielder, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter. Danks walked one and struck out three against a Tigers lineup that didn’t have MVP Miguel Cabrera (sore left hip flexor).
“I didn’t do our team any favors,’’ Danks said. “We were in a hole before we even got to hit. It falls squarely on me.
“I’m able to get the ball over the plate. But I’m not throwing the ball within the strike zone where I want to. more often than not.’’
Anibal Sanchez (8-7, 2.68 ERA) held the Sox to six hits over six innings, striking out five and walking one. The Sox, who were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, had a runner on third with no outs in the first and with one out in the fifth but didn’t score.
“Sanchez was tough and he’s a good pitcher,’’ Ventura said. “But we’ve got to be able to do something to get back into it and give John a little room to kind of get us back into it.’’
Dayan Viciedo homered to right field in the ninth against Luke Putkonen for his third hit of the night, and De Aza had a double, two singles and stolen base. Ramirez scored Viciedo with a single in the seventh. Ramirez also was charged with his 17th error of the season, on a bad throw.
Ramirez, 32, is three errors shy of his career high, and you have to wonder if the trade talk has affected him.
“If nobody goes [in a trade], we’re going to be better in August just because it’s out of the way,’’ Ventura said. “I don’t want anybody to go, but you’re going to be better, it’s just going to be better. It’s like the elephant in the room is going to be gone and you can play. Those rumors go away once you get into August. Having been through it as a player, it’s the same thing. Your name comes up, you can’t help it. We’ll be better off in a week.’’