Bad, old days return, absent offense spoils Danks' gem

John Danks needs to start telling his offense ahead of time when he's going to catch lightning in a bottle so they can schedule a parade. Instead, the Sox were in an odd position where their embattled and damaged starter was the sharpest guy on the field, as Ian Kennedy and the Padres bullpen overwhelmed the offense, and Adrien Nieto Double-A'd the go-ahead run home in a 4-1 loss made uglier by Javy Guerra.

Danks certainly wasn't overpowering folks. He had one 1-2-3 inning and it didn't come until the sixth. He gave up a booming solo blast to Cameron Maybin to lead off the third and Carlos Quentin was very close to making it two, but throwing strikes and victimizing a lot of guys who didn't seem to be as intimately familiar with his 'all changeups, all the time' approach worked out. Danks kept the bullpen fresh with seven strong innings, and might have left with the game tied at 1-1 if not for a pathetic blocking attempt by Nieto on a fifth inning wild pitch.

Quentin followed the wild pitch with a single, so maybe there was never a shot, but it's a mystery who the White Sox think they're fooling trying to hide this guy on the roster. Danks scattered eight hits, as he often has to, but struck out four to his one walk.

Despite laboring at times and racking up over 70 pitches through four innings, Kennedy tallied nine strikeouts alongside 13 total for Padres pitching. The only run scored on him shouldn't have been. After being squeezed out of the third inning when a slumping Adam Eaton tried to steal second with Alejandro De Aza on third, Conor Gillaspie led off the fourth with an infield single.

After moving to second on an Adam Dunn walk, Gillaspie took off running for third after a routine Alexei Ramirez flyout to center because he noticed Maybin trotting in with his head down, thinking he had snagged the third out. Because baseball occasionally has karmic rhyme to its reason, Gillaspie scored shortly afterward on a wild pitch that skidded off Rene Rivera's gear and popped up in the air long enough for him to run home. Gillaspie had another two-hit night (he was stranded after a booming two-out double in the first), but when the only offense is his baserunning, trouble is afoot.

Guerra made an appearance in relief and simultaneously showed why he's exciting, brandishing a heavy 96 mph fastball that no one could catch up to, and why he started the year in Triple-A. He fell behind and issued a walk when he couldn't direct that heater in the general vicinity of the strike zone, then hung a meaty curve for the normally homer-starved Yonder Alonso to whip out to right and give the Padres some distance.

The often comeback-minded Sox had their last eight hitters of the night retired in order. The offense misses Jose Abreu, as Dayan Viciedo is overpromoted as a middle-of-the-order hitter, but they could also really use a functional Adam Eaton. He has a .250 OBP with no walks since returning from the disabled list.

Box Score

Team Record: 28-28

Next Game: Tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. CT vs. San Diego on WGN


Follow The Catbird Seat on Twitter @TheCatbird_Seat