CHICAGO -- John Danks has pitched well so far this season despite the Chicago White Sox's slow start.
Danks threw eight strong innings and Paul Konerko hit a solo home run and drove in two runs and the White Sox ended the Tampa Bay Rays' seven-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory Tuesday night.
Andruw Jones also homered and Bobby Jenks pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save for the White Sox, who snapped a four-game losing streak.
"We've been saying all along that we are way better than we've been playing and I truly believe it. I think it's just a matter time before we start clicking and hopefully it started tonight," Danks said. "We all feel that way. We're better than how we've played so far and we know we got off to a pretty disappointing start, but with that said there is a 148 [games] left and every team is going to go through a slump and we got ours early."
The White Sox won their first game since Danks' seven-inning two-hit performance against Toronto last Wednesday and continues to get praise across the league.
"He's good. He had it all going on today. He had the nice little cutter inside then he's got the changeup working away from the righty then he started mixing the curveball in. He's good. He's one of the best pitchers in the league and I've been saying that for years. He showed that again tonight," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
The Rays faced the White Sox for the first time since they were on the losing side of Mark Buehrle's perfect game on July 23.
Danks (2-0) allowed one run and two hits with nine strikeouts and two walks.
"I felt real good the first two innings didn't have much of a changeup, but A.J. did a good job of sticking with it. The last four innings or so it really came along and it was a pitch I was leaning heavily on. Through the course of the game I had a couple of pitches working for me that really helped," Danks said.
Tampa Bay left-hander David Price (2-1) allowed three runs and six hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked three.
"David pitched well. He wasn't as sharp as he had been. He gave us enough to win but we couldn't mount any offense," Maddon said. "David had really good stuff tonight. He just wasn't as sharp with his fastball command-wise. He pitched well enough to win. We just didn't score enough to win."
Carl Crawford went 3 for 4 with a homer. He had all of Tampa's hits.
Danks' lone mistake came against Crawford in the first inning. Crawford homered on the first pitch he saw for his second of the season, but Danks rebounded and didn't allow a hit until Crawford reached on an infield single in the sixth inning.
Danks struck out Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria to end the fourth inning and then struck out the first two batters in the fifth inning. Danks struck out Zobrist with runners on first and second to end the sixth inning and he capped off a perfect eighth inning by striking out Gabe Kapler.
The Rays, coming off a four-game sweep at Fenway Park, lost for the first time on the road this season.
Danks has a 5-1 career record against the Rays with a 2.35 ERA.
"I really don't have an answer for that. I don't know. There are plenty of teams that I don't match up well against, so I'll take a good matchup," Danks said.
Before the game, Major League Baseball reversed its ban Tuesday on Maddon's pullover, telling the Tampa Bay Rays manager he can resume wearing it.
"Hoodie-gate is over," Maddon said. "I received a call today saying cooler heads had prevailed. I'm now able to wear the hoodie any time I'd like."
Maddon wasted no time, either. He wore it on the brisk, 54-degree night in Chicago.
After a walk to Carlos Quentin with two outs in the first inning, Konerko followed with a double off the right-field fence. Quentin scored from first after Kapler's throw from right wasn't cut off to tie the game at one.
In the second inning, Alex Rios took advantage of another failed relay by the Rays. Rios split the gap in right-center and headed to third for a triple. Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett had a shot at Rios on a relay throw, but his errant throw went into the stands, allowing Rios to score.
"We messed up two relays we normally make that could have cut off two runs. Both of those runners we could have thrown out," Maddon said.
Jones homered on an 0-2 fastball from Price in the sixth inning. It was Jones' fourth of the season. Konerko added his fifth homer of the season off Tampa reliever Dan Wheeler.Notes
Buehrle is Wednesday's scheduled starting pitcher. "I expect to throw a perfect game every time I go out there. I know it's not going to happen, though. Obviously facing this team again, I'm not going to be thinking about the last time I faced them and what happened. It's a new year," he said. ... Chicago is 7-2 against Tampa Bay in its past nine games. ... Danks' career high in strikeouts is 10.