John Danks does his best Mark Buehrle impression as White Sox snap skid

SHARE John Danks does his best Mark Buehrle impression as White Sox snap skid

John Danks was answering post-game questions Tuesday night in the White

Sox locker room when a familiar voice chimed in from the throng of

reporters.

“Has Mark Buehrle taught you everything you know?”

The scruffy, media-member-for-a-day questioner was talking in the third

person.

Buehrle was joking, of course. But Danks’ performance in

many ways resembled what the veteran lefty has done so often in his

career.

Danks stepped up, stopped four-game losing streak and won

a game the

Sox needed to win.

He worked quickly.

He pitched smartly

and battled.

Danks’ (2-0) eight-inning, one-run gem helped the

Sox take the series opener 4-1 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Along the

way, he struck out a season-high nine batters in a tidy 2-hour,

22-minute affair.

Just what the doctor ordered.

“It might be one of the best days I’ve seen him throw the ball,” manager

Ozzie

Guillen said.

Two batters in, it wasn’t so apparent he had his

best stuff. Danks served up a majestic 415-foot home run to Carl

Crawford. Then he got tough, allowing just one hit — an infield single

also to Crawford — and two walks the rest of the way.

“I felt real good the first two innings, didn’t have much of a changeup,

but A.J. [Pierzynski] did a good job of sticking with it. The last four

innings or so

it really came along and it was a pitch I was leaning heavily on.

Through the course of the game I had a couple of pitches working for me

that really helped,” Danks said.

Danks improved his career record against Tampa Bay to 5-1 and

turned in his third consecutive quality start. He lowered his ERA to

1.29 and has struck out 21 batters in as many innings this year.

This dominance is, in a way, also Buehrle-like. Something about a

perfect game last summer against these Rays.

“I really don’t have an answer for that. I don’t know. There are plenty

of teams that I don’t match up well against, so I’ll take a good

matchup,” Danks said.

If there was any pressure on the offense coming into the game to snap

the skid, the shutdown performance alleviated much of that.

“He pitched tremendous, he kept us in the game,” said designated hitter Andrew Jones, who

hit his 392nd career home run — a solo shot in the sixth inning. “We

just had to score two runs to win the game.”

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