ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- John Danks came home and gave about 40 family and friends quite a show. The Chicago White Sox left-hander also showed Texas fans what they're missing.
Danks, the Texas native who was once the Rangers' top pitching prospect, struck out eight with no walks in 7 2/3 solid innings Saturday night and the AL Central-leading White Sox held on after he left to beat Texas 9-7.
In a Groove
Josh Hamilton knocked in two RBIs, increasing his MLB-leading RBI total to 95. Here's where he sits among the all-time best RBI totals at All-Star break:
'35 Hank Greenberg
'98 Juan Gonzalez
'03 Carlos Delgado
'99 Manny Ramirez
'08 Josh Hamilton
* -- One game left before break
"Getting a win against the Rangers is the same as beating another team," Danks insisted. "I tried to approach it like any other game and I think I did that."Danks (7-4) retired 14 straight batters -- and was thinking about the possibility of his first complete game in the majors -- before giving up consecutive doubles to German Duran and Ian Kinsler in the eighth. Danks left after starting All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton's second RBI single got the Rangers within 8-4."I feel like I got ahead of myself a little bit," Danks said, still smiling.It was still an impressive outing for the 23-year-old lefty, the ninth overall pick by the Rangers in the 2003 draft. Texas traded him to Chicago in December 2006 in a five-player deal that sent Brandon McCarthy to the Rangers. Danks earned a spot in the White Sox rotation the following spring."He was very good," said Kinsler, the AL's top hitter (.333) whose double extended his hitting streak to 24 games, longest in the majors this season."Obviously having people here, I wanted to perform well," Danks said. "But as far as extra nerves being here in Texas, there wasn't anything like that."Jim Thome and Paul Konerko hit back-to-back homers in the eighth for Chicago, which maintained its 1½-game division lead over Minnesota. Thome, who finished with four RBIs, hit a two-run shot for his 525th career homer before Konerko capped his 4-for-4 night with his homer.Danks allowed more than two earned runs for the first time in six starts. But he is 4-0 his last nine starts, since allowing two runs over five innings in a loss to the Los Angeles Angels on May 24."It was important for him. He needed a game like that to keep his confidence going," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Awesome. Great performance. To see a kid perform like that is good."Hamilton upped his majors-leading RBI total to 95 with his fifth consecutive multi-RBI game. He has driven in runs in eight straight.After Hamilton's RBI single with two outs in the third, Danks didn't allow another base runner until Duran doubled. Danks left after Hamilton singled home Young.McCarthy was also on the mound Saturday, throwing 25 pitches in a simulated game at the Rangers' spring training complex in Arizona. McCarthy has been on the disabled list all season (right forearm inflammation) after going 5-10 with two DL stints last year.The Rangers have used 12 different starting pitchers this season, and 26 pitchers total.Millwood, his start pushed back a day because of a sore left groin, allowed five runs and 10 hits with four walks. The White Sox stranded nine runners the first five innings, leaving the bases loaded twice against the right-hander."Physically, everything feels as good as it should," Millwood said. "I walked too many guys. ... I'd rather give up a hit than a walk. Adding the two together, it makes it that much worse."Konerko, who had been 2-for-15 with seven strikeouts since coming off the disabled list Tuesday from a strained oblique muscle, had an RBI single in the third to tie the game 1-1, and his ninth homer made it 8-2. Thome had a sacrifice fly in the fifth after Jermaine Dye snapped a 2-for-20 slump with a triple, and Thome added an RBI double in the sixth.Milton Bradley, the All-Star DH who hadn't started the previous three games because a sore left knee, led off the Texas second with his 18th homer, a 429-foot shot.
Hamilton's streak of eight straight games with an RBI is the longest in the AL this season. Philadelphia's Chase Utley had a nine-game streak this season. ... Pitching coach Mark Connor said McCarthy "threw well with no problems." The Rangers don't anticipate having McCarthy back before at least mid-August. ... It was 100 degrees when the game started just after 6 p.m. It was the first triple-digit temperature at first pitch in Arlington this season.