Published June 16, 2010
PITTSBURGH (AP) — White Sox starter John Danks held down Pedro Alvarez and the Pirates — who did plenty to hurt themselves with six errors that helped Chicago beat Pittsburgh 7-2 Wednesday night.
The Pirates ran their losing streak to 10 in the major league debut of Alvarez, their top power prospect since Barry Bonds.
The rookie contributed one of the Pirates' four ninth-inning errors, mishandling a throw at third base.
It was only the 15th game in club history with as many as six errors. The Pirates' record is seven, which occurred four times, according to STATS LLC.
Danks gave up four hits in eight innings and Carlos Quentin drove in two runs with a single and double as the White Sox won their sixth in seven games.
The Pirates, meanwhile, have their third double-digit losing streak by the Pirates in 42 years. The 2006 Pirates lost 13 in a row under manager Jim Tracy and manager John Russell's first team in 2008 dropped 10 in a row.
The Pirates got a homer from a recently recalled rookie, only it was by Jose Tabata in the eighth rather than Alvarez, who was called up earlier in the day. Tabata's first major league homer came in his sixth game.
Before Chicago's road trip began, general manager Kenny Williams stressed the importance of winning both interleague series this week, against NL tailenders Pittsburgh and Washington. They're assured of taking the three-game Pirates series after winning the first two games.
Alverez, the No. 2 pick in the June 2008 draft, impressed the White Sox by hitting several long home runs during batting practice, causing several players to interrupt their pregame stretch and let out some audible "o-o-o-hs" during one deep drive. Once the game started, Danks (6-5) kept Alvarez in the park.
Danks struck Alvarez swinging on a high fastball in the second, then worked carefully before walking him in the fifth. Alvarez then scored on Lastings Milledge's double. The left-handed hitting Alvarez got around on a pitch by the left-handed Danks in the seventh, driving it to the warning track in left before Juan Pierre ran it down.
So far, Pittsburgh hasn't caught Alvarezmania the way Washington is embracing rookie Stephen Strasburg, who, coincidentally, faces the White Sox on Friday. The crowd of 15,218 was only slightly larger than Tuesday night's turnout of 12,693, despite gorgeous weather and a day's worth of buildup.
Danks wasn't as dominating as he was in limiting Detroit to one hit in seven shutout innings during a 3-0 victory on June 10, but was in control throughout while striking out six and walking two. Danks has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 of 13 starts.
As usual, one bad inning did in Pirates starter Zach Duke (3-8), who has lost four in a row while winning only once in 12 starts. The first five White Sox batters reached base in the fourth, with Alexei Ramirez tripling after Pierre's leadoff single. Alex Rios and Quentin followed with run-scoring singles.
Rios and Quentin doubled around Konerko's single during a two-run sixth.
Notes: Pirates starters have won once in 26 games since Duke beat Phillies ace Roy Halladay 2-1 on May 18. ... The Pirates have lost 16 of 19. ... Pirates RHP Ross Ohlendorf, who starts Thursday, is winless in 13 starts since Aug. 18. ... Pirates 1B Steve Pearce (ankle) will begin a rehabilitation assignment at Class A Bradenton on Thursday. ... The White Sox are 6-2 in interleague play, while the Pirates are 0-5. Chicago is 30-14 against the NL since 2008.