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White Sox’ John Danks can’t help but look forward to next season

John Danks

John Danks

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Updated: October 8, 2013 6:16AM

BALTIMORE — John Danks had another so-so performance in yet another loss for the White Sox on Friday night.

The Orioles tagged the left-hander for three solo homers, a night after they hit three solo shots against lefty Jose Quintana, and cruised to a 4-0 victory that ran the staggering Sox’ losing streak to eight. Shut out by former Cubs right-hander Scott Feldman on five hits, the Sox are two losses away from achieving an 0-10 road trip to match their 10-game losing streak from July 26 to Aug. 4.

Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in mid-February. Is it too soon to count down the days and look ahead to next season?

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t doing that a little bit,’’ said Danks, whose season has been more about taking the ball every turn and building up strength after undergoing shoulder surgery last August. “It’s easier to look ahead with the position we’re in as a team. Everything that we’re doing now, for me personally, is geared toward getting ready for next year and having a full, healthy season. I think we’re well on the way.’’

The Sox (56-84) are on the way to having their worst season since 1976, when they finished 64-97. They need a 7-15 finish to avoid 100 losses. That could be a challenge with 19 of their last 22 games against teams with winning records.

After Danks gave up back-to-back homers to Chris Davis (48th) and Matt Wieters (21st) in the sixth, manager Robin Ventura lifted the lefty, who had thrown 103 pitches. Danks has made 20 starts and logged 1272/3 innings after coming off the disabled list May 24.

With Erik Johnson and perhaps Charlie Leesman taking starts down the stretch, the regular starters will get extra days of rest but keep taking the ball.

“I wouldn’t be a fan of being shut down,’’ Danks said. “For everybody, they need to learn how to throw a full season. For guys like Chris [Sale, 1872/3] and [Jose] Quintana [1722/3], throw 200 innings. It’s uncharted waters for these guys and you really don’t know what to expect till you do it. I think it’s good for all of us to keep the ball until the last game is played.

“I’m real pleased with how I feel. Nothing hurts and I’m able to do all the throwing. I think it would be more detrimental for me to be shut down at this point. I’m still building arm strength and it’s good for me to take the ball as many times as I can.’’

Danks (4-12, 4.45) struck out four and walked one while allowing seven hits against the Orioles.

“I threw a third changeup to Chris, which was probably a mistake on my part,’’ Danks said.

“The one to Wieters, I threw the ball exactly where I was trying to throw it. He just hit a good pitch, and sometimes you’ve just got to wear it I guess.’’

The Sox have no other choice but to wear this entire season. They can only hope having Danks healthy from Day 1 next year will be something to be optimistic about.

“This one was different, but he’s gotten stronger, velocity-wise, keeping it deep into games,’’ Ventura said. “From where he started coming off the arm surgery to where he is now he’s doing all right.’’


Twitter: @CST_soxvan

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