Danks to start Opening Day

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Danks to start Opening Day

John Danks will take the mound for the White Sox on Opening Day, Robin Ventura announced after Monday's 4-3 loss to Los Angeles. Danks threw seven innings against the Dodgers, striking out four with no walks while allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits.

It's been assumed Danks would get the Opening Day nod since he agreed to a five-year extension with the White Sox in December. Since joining the White Sox rotation in 2007, Danks has a 4.03 ERA with 714 strikeouts and 300 walks.

But Danks is coming off his worst season since his rookie year, posting a 4.33 ERA in 27 starts in 2011. From 2008-2010, Danks' ERA sat at 3.61 in 97 starts.

When Danks takes the hill in Texas, he'll become the 49th left-hander to earn an Opening Day start for the White Sox in the team's 112-year history. Mark Buehrle started every Opening Day but 2007 from 2002-2011, and before him, David Wells and Mike Sirotka started the season's first game this century.

So over the last 12 years, the Sox have had a lefty start Opening Day in 11 of them. Jose Contreras owns the distinction of being the lone righty to start Opening Day since the turn of the millennium.

Danks will start against the team that drafted him with the ninth overall pick in the 2003 MLB Draft. The deal that brought Danks to Chicago on Dec. 23, 2006 is regarded as one of the best made by GM Kenny Williams, as the Sox sent Brandon McCarthy and a minor-leaguer to Texas for Danks, Nick Masset and another minor leaguer.

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