Brandon McCarthy would take two runs allowed over six innings every time.
Those numbers were deceiving, though, and the Diamondbacks' right-hander was anything but satisfied with his start in Arizona's 4-2 victory against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
"I just was not ever really in synch," said McCarthy, who gave up 10 hits against his former team. "I felt like I did a decent job battling in trying to keep things together. It was easily one of those starts that can spin out of control much faster than you want it to."
White Sox outfielder Jordan Danks, who likely will begin the season in Triple-A even though he has 12 hits in his last 17 at-bats, led off the third inning with a home run, and Gordon Beckham followed with a double to the gap in left-center and scored from third on a ground out by Alexei Ramirez. McCarthy gave up five hits over the fourth and fifth innings but escaped without damage.
"On the whole, it was kind of a continuation of last time where I just wasn't sharp, wasn't able to repeat and that kind of led to hits in counts I didn't want and some situations I should be able to avoid," McCarthy said.
"I was able to make some pitches when I needed to, it was just kind of every pitch was, 'This might be a really good one, this might be a really bad one.' There were enough good ones so I was able to keep moving through innings and enough bad ones where I was in jams and some situations that I should be able to avoid."
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson had no problem with the results. Gibson liked what he saw of McCarthy's changeup.
"He got into some trouble and made some pitches," Gibson said.
Third baseman Martin Prado singled in Willie Bloomquist in the first and right fielder A.J. Pollock homered against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd leading off the second for Arizona. Ryan Court singled in two runs against Dylan Axelrod in the eighth to to break a 2-all tie.
Floyd allowed two runs in five innings. Axelrod, who pitched three innings in relief, is getting stretched out to likely take John Danks' turn in the Sox starting rotation.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said after the game that Danks, who has a 16.36 spring ERA, will finish out the spring pitching in minor league games and open the season on the disabled list. Danks, the opening-day starter in 2012 who signed a $65 million, five-year extension before that season, had shoulder surgery in August and doesn't have his normal velocity yet.
"He's going out there without the velocity he needs to do what he does," Ventura said. "I don't want to keep sending him out there with one arm tied behind his back. Until he can get that back, feels he can go out there and do that, this is what's best."
Ventura did not rule out Hector Santiago, who started four games last season, as a possibility to replace Danks. But Axelrod, who started seven games last year, is the likely pitcher for the Sox' fifth game on April 6 against the Mariners in Chicago.
NOTES: The Diamondbacks traded 38-year-old infielder John McDonald to the Pirates for a player to be named or cash considerations. Arizona plans use a combination of Cliff Pennington and Willie Bloomquist at shortstop, and they have infielders Eric Hinske and Eric Chavez on their bench. ... White Sox 3B Jeff Keppinger was 2 for 2 and is 14 for 28 this spring. ... White Sox OF Dewayne Wise extended his hitting streak to nine games. ... Adam Dunn played left field in place of Dayan Viciedo (right quad strain), who is expected back Thursday. Dunn, a designated hitter, played five games in the outfield last year. The Sox play at the Washington Nationals on April 9. Dunn threw out Arizona catcher Rod Barajas trying to score from second on a single. "No offense to Rod, but he's not Michael Johnson or anything," Dunn said.