Baseball / Sports

Astros rough up Danks, defeat White Sox, 11-7

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox sent John Danks to the mound Sunday in search of a series sweep of the Houston Astros.

But Danks was not on his game. He gave up seven runs on 12 hits, including two home runs, over 4 1/3 innings as the Astros salvaged the series finale 11-7 at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Astros collected 17 hits to offset their three errors.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Chris Carter. Jose Altuve and Enrique Hernandez had led off with base hits to put runners on the corners before Carter's fly ball to center brought in the run.

The Astros sent seven men to the plate in the third inning and went ahead 4-0. Altuve hit a two-run homer and Matt Dominquez delivered an RBI single.

The White Sox got on the board in the bottom of the third. Adam Eaton was safe on an infield hit and advanced to third on a single by Jose Abreu. Adam Dunn grounded out to score Eaton to make it 4-1.

The Sox pulled to within 4-3 with a pair of runs in the fourth. After Conor Gillaspie reached on an infield hit and Alejandro De Aza walked, Adrian Nieto hit a hard grounder that went through the legs of first baseman John Singleton. Two runs scored on the two-base error.

But the Astros continued to pummel Danks in the fifth inning. Matt Dominquez hit a two-run homer to make it 6-3. After singles by Singleton and Carlos Corporan, Danks was chased in favor of Taylor Thompson, who made his major league debut after being called up from Triple A Charlotte.

Robbie Grossman singled to make it 7-3.

The Sox got a run back in the fifth after Dayan Viciedo and Gillaspie singled. De Aza was safe on a fielder's choice, and Viciedo scored to make it 7-4.

Danks (8-6, 3.99) allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his previous 10 starts. Last season Danks went 4-14 with 4.75 ERA and 89 strikeouts over 22 starts. He underwent surgery on Aug. 6, 2012, to repair a capsular tear and minor debridement of the rotator cuff and biceps in the left shoulder.

"The further you get away from the surgery, I think he's just stronger," manager Robin Ventura said of Danks' resurgent season.

"Arm action, being able to have control ... he has added a bit of a curveball that there's something else to it. There's not just feeling like he's a one-pitch pitcher out there. He's able to mix in more things and becomes a little more challenging to try to guess on things. I think guys like him ... there are a lot of guys that have to sit on one thing or another just because his changeup is a little bit better."

The Astros countered with right-hander Jarred Cosart, who went five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits. He walked four and struck out four.

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