BALTIMORE -- John Danks’ margin for error just isn’t very wide.
He and the White Sox discovered that yet again on Thursday night when the Baltimore Orioles made the veteran pay for several third-inning mistakes. With several potential options to choose from, whether or not the White Sox will give him another start to find a rhythm becomes the big question.
Danks surrendered a pair of long home runs and allowed six earned runs and the White Sox fell to the Orioles, 10-2, at Oriole Park at Camden Yard in front of 14,568. The loss snapped a six-game White Sox winning streak and is the team’s first since the last start by Danks (0-4) on April 21.
At the very least, the White Sox have shown they may entertain making a change at the back of the rotation.
It was only earlier this week when the White Sox promoted recently signed starter Miguel Gonzalez to give him an opportunity. While Gonzalez showed rust in Monday’s start, he also settled in against a tough Toronto Blue Jays lineup, which allowed the White Sox to rally for a big win.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said he was impressed with how Gonzalez handled himself against the Blue Jays as he made his first big league start of the season. However, Ventura didn’t make any commitments about the right-hander’s future and Gonzalez was optioned back to Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday as part of a four-player shuffle after David Robertson landed on the bereavement list.
But the decision to push Danks back out of the series in Toronto, a team against whom he has poor numbers, raises questions about how long the White Sox might keep him in the rotation.
The White Sox have Monday off before they start a six-game homestand on Tuesday. That means they could skip Danks’ next turn in the rotation without moving around any of their other starters.
Ventura also noted on Monday that the White Sox, off to their best start since 2006, have several options from which to choose if they need help in the rotation.
Jacob Turner has a 2.49 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings at Charlotte. Erik Johnson, also at Charlotte, has a 3.24 ERA in three starts. And there’s Gonzalez, who went 30-21 with a 3.45 ERA from 2012-14 with the Orioles before he fell off last season.
“I don’t know if we’ve necessarily had that for a while,” Ventura said.
The White Sox opted to push Danks -- who saw his ERA rise to 7.25 -- back to Thursday against Baltimore in part because of past success against the Orioles, including seven scoreless innings at U.S. Cellular Field last July.
Danks wasn’t able to match that showing this time around even after Todd Frazier’s two-run, first-inning homer gave him a cushion with which to work.
Had it not been for a fantastic relay from Austin Jackson to Jimmy Rollins to Hector Sanchez to throw out Chris Davis on Adam Jones’ two-out RBI double in the first inning, Danks would have given back the lead.
While Danks pitched a perfect second inning, he wasn’t as fortunate in the third. Danks walked Caleb Joseph to start the inning and Manny Machado’s one-out double to right tied it at 2. Davis then launched a two-run homer to right-center field and Mark Trumbo followed with a solo shot to put the Orioles ahead 5-2.
Danks put up zeroes in the fourth and fifth innings, but exited after he surrendered a leadoff double to J.J. Hardy in the sixth. Hardy scored during a five-run Orioles’ rally against Jake Petricka that blew the game open.
Danks allowed nine hits and walked two while throwing strikes on 56 of 96 pitches.