CHICAGO -- John Danks' impressive outing was almost cut short in the third inning.
Danks pitched into the seventh after an early hiccup, Carlos Quentin homered and the Chicago White Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 on Saturday night.Danks (11-8) walked six but allowed just one run and three hits. He got a standing ovation when he departed with one out in the seventh and runners on the corners.And the left-hander almost didn't make it out of the third.The Orioles loaded the bases with one out in the inning and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had D.J. Carrasco was warming up in the bullpen, but Danks struck out Nick Markakis and got Nolan Reimold to pop out to center to end the inning."I think I was one ball away from being out of the game in the third inning," Danks said. "You're not throwing strikes and you're not letting these guys make good plays behind me. You saw tonight when I let them put the ball in play these guys were making plays. Gordon [Beckham] was incredible over there."Guillen visited the mound during the third because he was concerned about Danks' left index finger. Danks had to miss a start after a blister on his finger turned into circulatory problems."I was worried about his health problem but he said he was fine," Guillen said. "He couldn't get a feeling on the ball. That was the second time that happened to him but he battled through. He made big pitches when he had to."Danks said his finger is all right."It's not as bad as it looks. Obviously, it's still a work in progress," he said. "Everything is fine. I'm not going to use that as an excuse. It's just a matter of me not throwing strikes."Matt Thornton relieved Danks in the seventh and struck out Brian Roberts before throwing a wild pitch that cut Chicago's lead to 4-1. The reliever got some help from Beckham at third base, who made a nice throw from the line to get Adam Jones at first for the final out of the inning.Thornton and Octavio Dotel combined to work the eighth and Bobby Jenks finished for his 27th save in 31 opportunities.David Hernandez (4-6) allowed three runs and three hits over four innings for Baltimore, which was denied in its attempt to win three straight for the first time since June 17-21. Roberts went 0 for 3 with two walks, ending an 11-game hitting streak."Certainly we, I guess we put ourselves in a few opportunities and we couldn't get them to break, but that's a credit to him," Roberts said.After taking Friday off, Quentin started the second inning with a home run on a 3-1 pitch. Quentin has connected in his last three straight games.Hernandez got into trouble in the fourth inning. He walked leadoff hitter Jim Thome, then hit Quentin with a pitch. A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez followed with singles, and Mark Kotsay's sacrifice fly gave the White Sox a 3-0 lead."I felt like I put it together there in the third inning, had a nice, quick inning and started to get some momentum and the fourth inning, once again, it just unraveled," Hernandez said. "I guess that's part of walking the leadoff guy."Danks retired 10 straight before Nolan Reimold tripled with two out in the sixth, but Melvin Mora flied out to right to end the inning."I thought he was getting out in the third inning, that was kind of the way it was going, but he battled and he didn't have his good stuff until later and he battled and that was unbelievable," Beckham said.Chicago wasted a chance to add to its lead in the seventh. With Pierzynski on first and Thome on second, Ramirez lined a single off the left-field wall. Pierzynski got tagged out at third just before Thome could score, and plate umpire Dale Scott immediately waved the run off.
Beckham made two nice defensive plays on Roberts. He had a leaping catch on his liner in the first and a nice stop on his hard roller in the fifth. ... White Sox 1B Paul Konerko had the night off. ... The White Sox improved to 16-4 on Saturdays.