By Chris Vannini
DETROIT -- Chicks may dig the long ball, but John Danks is seeing too many of them.
After allowing three solo home runs in Saturday’s 3-0 loss to the Tigers, Danks has allowed 20 home runs in 89 2/3 innings on the season. He has allowed eight homers over his last four starts.
"It looks like he pitched pretty good, actually,” manager Robin Ventura said of Saturday’s start. “But he gives up a couple solos. Three of them, actually. If you’re not scoring, that’s a pretty big deal. It’s a pretty good performance from John, but those solos are catching up to him."
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Two starts prior to Saturday, Danks also allowed three home runs against the Tigers. In both starts, he allowed a solo home run to Torii Hunter on an inside fastball. Both times, that’s not where Danks wanted the ball.
“No, we were trying to go away,” Danks said of Saturday’s Hunter home run. “That ball cut. That was the only one I didn’t throw where I was trying to go. It’s what we’ve been working on all week. I’ve had a problem with the ball cutting like that for me, and there’s another case of it.
“Same thing on his home run in Chicago last week. Something we’ll continue to work on. That wasn’t where I was trying to go.”
Danks has pitched better than his 2-9 record, but if he can’t get run support and can’t keep the ball in the park, bad things are going to happen. That’s what occurred Saturday.
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“It’s tough. After the first few innings, I was hoping to get us deep enough not to burn the bullpen,” he said. “I was able to get on a little bit of a roll there and get us deeper than I thought early on. I’m glad I was able to do that, but you’re exactly right. I got to keep the ball in the park.
“Although they were all solo, they obviously burned me. So it’s something we’re working on and a couple I thought were decent pitches and they just hit them. But they’re homers.”