CHICAGO – John Danks found a few bright spots in his outing despite losing for the 10th time in 12 decisions this season.
The White Sox left-hander allowed six runs — four earned — in 7 1-3 innings of Chicago's 6-4 loss to the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.
With some better play on defense behind him and taking one pitch back against slugger Miguel Cabrera, who homered for the fifth time in six games, the result may have been different for Danks.
"There's nothing fun about losing," he said. "I feel like I have plenty of stuff to go out there and compete. Location hasn't always been great. That will come."
The White Sox grabbed a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a chance for their first three-game sweep of the Tigers, but Cabrera turned that around with a towering three-run shot in the third inning.
"He's been banged up for about a week," teammate Torii Hunter said of Cabrera. "Miggy, instead of him having to run, he just hits the home run."
Despite surrendering a season-high 11 hits, Tigers starter Rick Porcello (9-6) allowed just three runs in six innings to extend his string of quality starts to seven in his last eight outings. Porcello hasn't lost since June 30 at Tampa Bay.
Porcello got off to a miserable start, surrendering three runs on four hits in the first. He needed 40 pitches to get the first three outs of the game. Avisail Garcia, and Conor Gillaspie had run-scoring singles, with the other run coming on a sac fly by Jeff Keppinger.
After Cabrera tied the score, the Tigers broke the game open in the top of the sixth thanks to some clutch hitting and a White Sox miscue. Omar Infante drove in the go-ahead run with a single, and the final two runs came courtesy of an error by White Sox third baseman Gillaspie.
Chicago added a run in the bottom of the eighth on a single by Alexei Ramirez to make it 6-4.
Taking no chances, Tigers manager Jim Leyland brought in closer Joaquin Benoit with one out in the eighth. Benoit then proceeded to strike out Adam Dunn and Avisail Garcia to end the inning without further damage. He worked out of another jam in the ninth inning for his 15th save in 15 chances.
Even though it occurred in the third inning, the talk of the postgame was Cabrera's homer.
"He was quick on it," Leyland said. "He just fired his hands — it looked like a cutter — and he just pulled his hands in and they were like lightening through the zone. He's remarkable."
Said Danks: "Bad pitch to him. I got him out the first time and I tried to go a little farther inside. I don't think it would have been called a strike."
The way Hunter sees it, that's the key. Pitchers don't want to throw Cabrera fat pitches in the strike zone.
"Some of those pitches are balls and he's still hitting them out," Hunter said.
Cabrera, in his bid for an historic second straight triple crown, leads the AL in batting average (.360) and is in a tight battle with Baltimore's Chris Davis for home runs and runs batted in. With his blast Wednesday, Cabrera has 38 homers and 114 RBI.
It seems kind of odd to say, but Hunter believes Cabrera is actually having a better season this year.
"No doubt," he said. "I wasn't here last year, but he's definitely better this year than last."
NOTES: With a day game following an extra-inning night game, manager Robin Ventura gave White Sox veteran Paul Konerko the day off. "Guys at that age get a little tighter a day game after a night game," Ventura said. "Let him have a little spa day." . Alexei Ramirez had an infield single in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. . The White Sox open a series at Minnesota Thursday night with RHP Andre Rienzo (0-0) facing RHP Mike Pelfrey (7-11). The Tigers are home for the start of a five-game series with the Royals, with RHP Anibal Sanchez (10-7) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (12-8).