St. Petersburg, Fla. -- John Danks pitched well for the White Sox on Sunday afternoon.
But John Danks did not throw a shutout.
Therefore, John Danks took the loss.
In what has become an all-too-common storyline for the 2013 White Sox, Danks was sharp but his run support was scarce in a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in front of 16,832 at Tropicana Field.
Aside from the first home run of Josh Phegley’s career, reigning American League Cy Young winner David Price stymied a scuffling White Sox offense. Price needed only 98 pitches to throw a complete-game as the White Sox, who are now 17 games under .500, were swept for the seventh time.
“I believe this question has been asked so many times that you get tired of answering the same questions,” outfielder Alex Rios said of the team’s struggles. “It’s still tough. It’s the same thing day in and day out. It just gets old. What can you do? You have to grind it out. That’s it.”
Headed into Sunday, the White Sox had scored 34 runs over their previous 10 games, a total that was inflated by the 18 produced in last Friday’s doubleheader.
Then they ran into Price (3-4).
Price, who last week was activated off the disabled list after a triceps injury, didn’t blow the White Sox away.
He wasn’t unhittable.
But aside from Phegley’s solo homer in the sixth, the White Sox didn’t do any significant damage. They had six hits through four innings, all singles.
When the White Sox had chances, they didn’t do anything with them just as they haven’t all season.
Some of it was Price, who narrowly edged Detroit’s Justin Verlander for the Cy Young last season. Some was the White Sox, who had seven singles among their eight hits off the left-hander.
“We had shots,” manager Robin Ventura said. “First and second a couple of times, but David is tough. You look at the pitch count of throwing a complete game, he was just sharp.”
Danks was pretty good, too.
But he wasn’t perfect and it cost him dearly.
Danks -- who allowed five hits and walked two in seven innings -- gave up runs in the first, fifth and seventh innings as the Rays made the most of their limited chances.
That was enough to send Danks to 2-6 overall.
His effort follows similar outings by Chris Sale and Jose Quintana in the last four games where the White Sox pitch well enough to win, but haven’t hit a lick.
Even so, Danks refuses to point fingers.
“I always say those guys got a lot better chance than I do at the plate,” Danks said. “I’d rather run them out there and I really try not to worry about things I can’t control. My job is to go out there and put up zeroes. I gave up three and had I done my job right we’d have been 1-0. That’s kind of the way I look at it. Obviously that’s a tad bit unrealistic every time out, but there isn’t any finger pointing. This is a pretty tight group.”