Danks Pitches Gem, White Sox Beat Royals 2-0
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Paul Konerko stood on the third-base line and extended his hands out from his sides in disbelief during the second inning Tuesday night against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
A passed ball bounced past Royals catcher Salvador Perez, hit the sign along the backstop and disappeared behind it. As Perez searched for the ball, Konerko shuffled home, shrugging and smiling to his White Sox teammates as he entered the dugout after extending an early Sox lead.
In the midst of a season of lowlights, the Sox — and perhaps even some of their luck — have taken a surprisingly good turn in the last two weeks.
Sox left-hander John Danks pitched eight scoreless innings on the way to the Sox’s 2-0 victory over the Royals. In 13 career starts against the Royals, he never has recorded a loss against them.
Danks earned his first victory since July 2 and just his third this season after shoulder surgery last August to repair a capsular tear and clear out debris in his rotator cuff and biceps. He gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out two in his first scoreless outing in 17 starts this season.
The Sox won for the 10th time in 15 games. The victory gave them a four-game winning streak for just the second time this season and extended their best stretch since May 12-26, when they won 10 of 14 games.
Sox manager Robin Ventura said before the game that improved play had improved the mood in the clubhouse.
“That mindset is better,” Ventura said. “When you win games it changes the mood and the feeling when you go into a game. Guys are looking more for good things to happen than bad things to happen.”
Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham hit his fourth home run of the season off Royals pitcher Ervin Santana in the first inning. He sent the solo shot 393 feet into the bullpen behind left field to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.
Konerko doubled to start the second and advanced on Avisail Garcia’s single before scoring from third on the bizarre second-inning play.
His luck turned in the third inning when Eric Hosmer’s drive to first hit the bag and took a strange bounce behind Konerko for a single. But the Royals couldn’t capitalize on the hit.
Santana went six innings, allowing four hits and one earned run, striking out five and walking two.
“(Learning to win together) is always important,” Ventura said. “The group that started the year was trying to do the same thing. Just because you do it at the end doesn’t guarantee it happens at the beginning of the year. It’s just good to get this group playing well and them coming out expecting to win.”