Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Posted: 10:22 a.m.
The Chicago White Sox's much-maligned bullpen came up big in one of its busiest games of the season. Left-hander John Danks would like to give that group a break.
Danks will try to help Chicago earn its fourth win in five games Wednesday afternoon when it concludes a three-game home set against the Oakland Athletics.
One night after closer Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain were each charged with a run and Chicago (7-4) wasted Mark Buehrle's eight shutout innings in a 2-1, 10-inning loss, the White Sox's bullpen was outstanding in Tuesday's 6-5, 10-inning victory, holding Oakland to a pair of runs following Edwin Jackson's 4 2-3 innings - the club's shortest outing by a starter this season.
Sergio Santos and Chris Sale, who picked up the win, each threw two scoreless frames and Alexei Ramirez ended the bullpen's night with a two-out, game-ending homer off Bobby Cramer.
Ramirez also staked the White Sox to a 3-1 second-inning lead with a three-run shot.
"The bullpen did a great job. The way Santos and Sale threw was the key," manager Ozzie Guillen said after his team snapped Oakland's three-game winning streak and improved to 4-2 on its season high-tying 10-game homestand.
Before hosting the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, the White Sox will look for a solid outing from Danks (0-1, 4.50 ERA), who did not earn a decision in Friday's 9-7 loss to Tampa Bay. The left-hander, who turns 26 this Friday, left the game with a two-run lead after allowing four runs in six innings, but Thornton surrendered four hits and five unearned runs in the ninth to prevent Danks from earning his first victory of the season.
"Our goal is to get the ball to Matt in the ninth," Danks told the White Sox's official website. "We know he's going to get outs. He's the same guy as he was when he was throwing in the seventh and eighth innings. As clich as it sounds, it's only one game."
Danks is 4-1 with a 2.48 ERA in six starts against the A's.
Seeking to conclude its nine-game trip with a 5-4 record, Oakland (5-6) will give the ball to Brett Anderson (0-1, 1.93), who could use more run support from his teammates.
After throwing six innings of one-run ball in a 5-2 loss to Seattle on April 2, the left-hander retired 14 in a row at one point and gave up two runs in eight innings Friday, but lost 2-1 at Minnesota.
The A's have supported Anderson with one run or none in 15 of his 18 career losses.
"He pitched his butt off," catcher Kurt Suzuki said. "He kept them off balance, hit his spots, changed speeds well. We should have got a win for him."
Anderson, 1-1 with a 4.88 ERA in four starts against the White Sox, was tagged for five runs and a career high-tying 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings in his last start in Chicago, a 6-1 loss July 30.
He will likely get his first look at Adam Dunn, who went 1 for 4 with a walk Tuesday after missing six games following an emergency appendectomy.
White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who had his 10-game hitting streak snapped Tuesday, is 3 for 11 with a double against Anderson.
A's first baseman Daric Barton matched a career high with four hits Tuesday and is batting .455 (5 for 11) with a pair of doubles off Danks.
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