By Bruce Levine-
CHICAGO (CBS) — Losing had become a regular theme for White Sox pitcher John Danks since shoulder surgery shut him down in 2012. That’s no longer the case for the lefty, who won his third straight game Thursday evening in Chicago’s 8-2 victory against San Francisco at U.S. Cellular Field.
Danks has reinvented himself with the help of the White Sox coaching staff and a belief in himself to get better at his trade.
Before Tuesday, Danks hadn’t won three straight starts in almost exactly three years, struggling with command and velocity since his August 2012 surgery.
“He really has it together now,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He has come a long way from the frustrations he had at the beginning of the year. He has overcome mental and physical issues to the point where he is always giving us a chance. He becomes tough when he has the feel for the change-up and spotting his fastball. It seems he has a little on his fastball the way he is spotting it.”
Danks once again received early run support, as the White Sox piled up a six-run lead after five innings against Matt Cain and the first-place Giants. From there, he went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits and three walks.
“It was more of a battle for me than the last couple,” Danks said after improving to 6-5 with a 3.97 ERA. “It always helps when you get eight runs behind you. They did it off of a pretty good pitcher. I just tried to stay aggressive, they just missed some pitches, and guys made some plays behind me.”
The victory snapped a nasty four-game losing streak for the White Sox, their longest of 2014.
“He looks great and looks very confident,” said Gordon Beckham, who hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning. “A couple of things went wrong for him early, and he did not let up. He kept going after guys. This is a guy you pull for, and you want him to do well, because he is a great guy and has worked so hard.”
Getting back into the win column was a product of a well-balanced offensive attack that had seven batters with at least one base hit and five with RBIs.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.