Baseball / Sports

Danks leads White Sox over Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- White Sox left-hander John Danks assessed his start to the 2014 season as "OK" this week.

But Danks continued a stretch Wednesday night that might indicate he is finding a groove he can carry on to a better-than-OK year.

Danks allowed one run on two hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings in posting a 2-1 victory over the Dodgers.

In his last three starts, he has allowed a total of three earned runs in a combined 22 1/3 innings, lowering his ERA this season to 4.32.

He said he recently has been able to make improvements during additional throwing sessions with pitching coach Don Cooper. The added practice has been made possible because he's physically stronger now that he's 22 months removed from shoulder surgery. He thinks he is reaping the benefits.

"I have everything back in line," Danks said. "It was getting out of whack, causing me to fall off, get off my pitches and keep me from throwing them where I was trying to throw them."

In the past, Danks would throw one side session between starts. He threw three before his start against the Yankees on May 24. He added two before Wednesday night's game and expects another two before his next start.

"It's really just where my head is positioned when I'm throwing," Danks said of the adjustments. "It almost made me feel like I dropped my arm slot, but really I just shifted my weight. I feel like it frees me up a little bit. My velocity has been higher than before, and movement, I'm able to throw the ball where I want consistently and throw my fastball for strikes more consistently."

Cooper said before Wednesday's game that he was pleased with the results of the tweaks in the last two weeks.

"From this new angle, we're getting a little better fastball, from a little lower angle," Cooper said. "Maybe we're just freeing his arm up a little bit. Up top, a little higher, he was restricting himself maybe. But now it's lower, the ball out of his hands has life, has action. Those were two things we didn't have on a consistent basis."

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