SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- John Danks will feel much better if he avoids bases loaded jams the next time he takes the mound.
Danks said he physically felt fine on Saturday but found himself in plenty of trouble in a 2-1/3 inning start against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields.
The left-hander made his second start of the spring and allowed four runs (three earned), seven hits and walked two. He struck out two batters. Although he didn’t like the results, Danks knows the big picture is more important at this point.
“No one wants to go out there and get hit around, but in the grand scheme of things the most important thing today was just being healthy and getting the pitches in,” Danks said. “I think part of (poor command) was mixing in a few more breaking balls. But definitely compared to last start, fastball command wasn’t nearly as good and changeup either. But that will all come. Those are feel pitches. Once we get really rolling I don’t have any doubt that I’ll be fine.”
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Danks threw 56 pitches. His fastball velocity ranged between 84-88 mph. Though his changeup command was “hit or miss,” Danks did strike out Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt on 3-2 pitch in the dirt with the bases loaded and one out. Danks then threw a cutter inside and retired Eric Chavez on a pop up.
“When I threw good ones, I got good results and vice versa,” Danks said. “You don’t ever want to be in (bases loaded, less-than-two-out situations). But if you can pitch out of it, that’s definitely something I’ll take away from today. But I’d like to limit those bases loaded, less than two outs.”
Thornton to sharpen up
Matt Thornton has the luxury of a guaranteed spot in the bullpen.
The veteran reliever can use spring training to work on various aspects of his game and doesn’t have to pitch for results.
Although he gave up six runs, five hits and a walk in 2/3 innings on Saturday, the left-hander’s level of concern is low. Thornton’s left elbow, one that sidelined him late last month, has held up fine.
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“The results were terrible, but I got my work in,” Thornton said. “My breaking ball was good. My changeup was terrible. My fastball location I thought was OK. But you can’t worry about the results in spring training. I felt good. I’m continuing to work on things.”
Konerko stays hot
Paul Konerko might have nine straight hits this week were it not for a diving grab by Diamondbacks center fielder Adam Eaton. Konkero singled in his first at-bat, lined out the next time and then blasted a three-run home run, his third in two games. Three hits occurred in Tuesday’s exhibition against Team USA, which doesn’t count toward spring training stats. But Konerko is still 9-for-22 with four homers and eight RBIs.
-- Nestor Molina allowed a hit and struck out one in three scoreless innings in a B game on Saturday morning.
-- Prospect Jared Mitchell tripled, singled, stole a base and made a diving catch in a 11-9 loss to the Diamondbacks.
-- Jeff Keppinger and Alexei Ramirez each went 2-for-3 with Ramirez doubling in two runs.
-- Hector Santiago allowed three hits, a run and two walks in three innings. Santiago struck out three.