CHICAGO -- The seven scoreless innings thrown by John Danks during the White Sox 1-0 victory over Baltimore Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field marked the southpaw's first start since June 22 at Minnesota.
With an 0-4 record and 6.85 ERA over four June starts, coupled with last Saturday's postponement in Detroit, the veteran understands why he was bypassed.
"I've pitched my way into being the guy who gets skipped," said Danks, who threw 66 of his 96 pitches for strikes and won the mound battle with Ubaldo Jimenez. "My goal is to be consistent.
"Go out there and work my way into being one of the top guys again. My job is, when I get the ball, to go deep in the game and give us a chance to win. And hopefully this will start a nice little run for me."
Danks struck out five, walked two, allowed five hits and with all due respect to George Costanza, he exited on a high note. The Orioles put runners on second and third with one out in the seventh after J.J. Hardy walked, Steve Pearce singled and Danks threw a wild pitch.
Caleb Joseph had the chance to tie the game or give the Orioles a lead and battled Danks for seven pitches. On that final pitch, Danks got Joseph to swing through his curveball that was so effective all night.
This effective curve made Danks' fastball look even faster. And throwing that fastball for strikes helped the changeup as well.
But the plan for Danks was a little more basic. Trust in White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers and hit the mitt.
"I was telling somebody I didn't shake off one time tonight," Danks said. "Tyler gets a lot of credit. He called a good game."
"We did a lot of communicating between innings," said Flowers, who added that Danks' cutter also worked well on Friday. "He was questioning whether his cutter wasn't good, because it actually was today. I just had to tell him his cutter was a good pitch."
In a talk with MLB.com on Tuesday in St. Louis, Danks held himself responsible as a reason for the White Sox disappointing season. He needed to pitch better, and on Friday, after throwing off the mound a few times during the break from action, Danks backed up his words.
There also was a comment from Danks as to how the White Sox had dug themselves a deep hole, but there was still plenty of season left to rectify the problem. The White Sox have a 3-0 record since that statement was made.
"If we can start playing consistent baseball, each doing our job, we might find ourselves back in this thing," Danks said. "We all have to pull our weight. That certainly includes me, and maybe even a little more than some of the other guys. I haven't played as well as I would have liked."
"He was sharp, there's no question about it," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "His breaking ball was great, he had good separation on the changeup and the fastball and he was locating his fastball."