|L.A. Angels (46-42)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Chi. White Sox (46-38) «||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||x||1||3||1|
After losing his no-hit bid to start the seventh, Danks maintained his composure and finished with his first career shutout on a two-hitter as the surging White Sox beat the Angels 1-0, completing a four-game sweep and winning for the 22nd time in 27 games.
"On a day like today, you don't want to be standing around out there, don't want your defense standing around out there," Danks said after game that lasted only 1 hour, 50 minutes on a muggy 79-degree day.
"I was just getting the ball and whatever he put down seemed to be the same pitch I wanted to throw. It just worked out that way."
Stepping up just a day after the White Sox learned they might be without ace Jake Peavy for the rest of the season, Danks, whose previous low-hit performance was a three-hitter last September against the Indians -- his only other complete game -- worked quickly and was in control of his pitches from the outset.
The sturdy lefty had no walks and seven strikeouts, winning a duel with the Angels' Ervin Santana.
"My stuff was very good. Quick game, too," Santana said. "He was throwing strikes, I was throwing strikes. Whoever made the mistake wouldn't win. ... It was intense. Impressive."
And then Danks made it stand up.
Reggie Willits grounded a single just underneath the reach of Chicago shortstop Alexei Ramirez to lead off the seventh for the first hit against Danks, who'd lost his previous two starts. Howie Kendrick then followed with a single up the middle and the Angels had their first threat of the game.
So when did Danks realize he was working on a no-hitter, which could have been the fifth in the majors this season?
"Fifth inning. Any one who says they don't think about it is a liar," Danks said. "You know immediately what is going on out there. Actually, as weird as it sounds, it was pretty fortunate that it was a 1-0 game because you can't get ahead of yourself. The job at hand it still to win the game."
Chicago won its fifth straight and moved within a half game of idle Detroit for first place in the AL Central.
"This could have been the biggest game we have this year," manager Ozzie Guillen said of Danks' performance because it allowed the White Sox to rest their tired bullpen with three games left before the All-Star break.
The only Angel to get on base in the first five innings was Cory Aldridge, who reached on third baseman Omar Vizquel's two-out error in the third. Pierzynski then made a nice sliding, bobbling catch of Erick Aybar's foul pop to end the inning.
Santana gave up only three hits with three walks and four strikeouts to go with the one hit batsman -- the only runner who scored in the entire game.
Manager Mike Scioscia held a very brief team meeting following the loss.
"We haven't looked like ourselves. The White Sox have been on fire. There's no excuse," Hunter said. "We have to go out there and play better baseball. If we lose playing better baseball, that's different. But when you lose and you're not playing great baseball, it feels bad. It's the worst feeling ever."
|John Danks (r) soaks in his first career shutout in which he holds the Angels hitless for the first six innings. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Erick Aybar, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.279|
|Reggie Willits, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.247|
|Howard Kendrick, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.281|
|Torii Hunter, DH||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.301|
|Mike Napoli, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.253|
|Juan Rivera, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.233|
|Kevin Frandsen, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.306|
|Jeff Mathis, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.247|
|Cory Aldridge, RF||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.000|
|DP - Frandsen-Kendrick-Napoli|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Ervin Santana (L,8-7)||8||3||1||1||3||4||0||3.76|
|HBP - Pierre (by Ervin Santana)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 103-64|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 6-12|
|Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 29|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Juan Pierre, LF||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||.260|
|Omar Vizquel, 3B||2||0||0||0||2||1||1||.237|
|Alex Rios, CF||3||0||2||0||0||0||0||.306|
|Paul Konerko, DH||2||0||0||1||0||0||1||.296|
|Mark Kotsay, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.225|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.238|
|Andruw Jones, RF||2||0||0||0||1||2||1||.193|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.277|
|Gordon Beckham, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.205|
|2B - Alex Rios (19, Santana)|
|SF - Paul Konerko (5)|
|RBI - Paul Konerko (61)|
|CS - Omar Vizquel (3, 2nd base by Santana/Mathis)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|E - Omar Vizquel (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|Chicago White Sox|
|John Danks (W,8-7)||9||2||0||0||0||7||0||3.29|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 111-81|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 9-12|
|Batters Faced - John Danks 30|
|Attendance - 27734|
|Game Time - 1:50|
|Temperature - 79|
|Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Eric Cooper|