The-anything-and-everything-can-happen-to-the-2013 White Sox theme continued on Wednesday as Shaun Marcum, winless in his first nine decisions, earned victory No. 1.
He and Mets closer Bobby Parnell combined on a four-hit shutout.
Marcum didn’t overpower anyone but was more than effective and, with the help of the White Sox shoddy defense, picked up his first win of the season with a 3-0 decision at U.S. Cellular Field. John Danks struck out a season-high seven batters in 7 1/3 innings but couldn’t overcome another Alexei Ramirez error and a bad offensive performance.
The Mets’ shutout marked the seventh time the White Sox have been blanked in 75 games. The White Sox were shutout 11 times in 2012.
“It just seemed like a listless offense and I don’t know the reason for it, but you can’t have it,” manager Robin Ventura said. “And (Danks is) pitching well enough to win, and we’re not putting anything on the board for him.”
Danks had his best start since he won at Oakland on June 8.
The left-hander got ahead of hitters and didn’t pitch into many deep counts. He hit his spots and kept the ball down in the strike zone.
Danks also relied on his defense, a wise decision for all but one inning.
The Mets broke open a scoreless game in the fifth inning.
Josh Satin and Andrew Brown both singled with Brown advancing into scoring position when Dayan Viciedo made an ill-advised throw to third with one out. Juan Lagares’ grounder then skipped under the glove of Ramirez, which allowed both runners to score. Ramirez has 13 errors this season after he made 12 a year ago.
Lagares advanced to second on the play when Viciedo again overthrew the cutoff man, and he eventually scored on a two-out RBI single by Eric Young Jr. to put the Mets ahead 3-0.
Aside from that, however, Danks (1-5) was strong. He allowed three runs (one earned) and seven hits and hit one batter.
“I definitely had a lot more behind the ball,” said Danks, whose fastball touched 92 mph. “They told me it would be up and down. That’s the way it was explained to me, and tonight was a night I was feeling good. Hopefully, that's the way it happens the rest of the year. I was able to use my fastball a lot more effectively today than I was last time.”
Marcum didn’t need any additional support -- from his offense -- even though he entered the game with a 5.76 ERA.
With the help of several sterling plays by shortstop Omar Quintanilla and a pair from third baseman David Wright, Marcum only allowed two runners on in the same inning once. But after a leadoff single by Ramirez and a one-out walk in the fourth, Marcum got fly balls off the bats of Viciedo and Jeff Keppinger.
Marcum (1-9) allowed four hits and walked two over eight innings.
The lack of support is not new for Danks, who has dealt with it all season. It’s the fifth time in seven starts the White Sox have scored one run or fewer for Danks, who has received 11 runs of support total.
“You could tell from the first, second inning that (Danks) had a little more zip on that fastball, a little more bite on the cutter and the changeup,” said second baseman Gordon Beckham, who doubled in three at-bats. “(Danks) looked more like the guy we know. ... It’s not a lot of fun when he goes out and pitches his butt off and we can’t score for him. It is what it is. Marcum was good too. He’s paid to get people out. Hopefully we can get more runs next time Johnny’s out there for us.”