CHICAGO – Although Chicago White Sox starter John Danks lost his third straight decision, his solid pitching performance against the New York Mets marked a strong turnaround.
The lefty entered Wednesday night's game with a 5.40 ERA, but limited the Mets to one earned run through seven and one-third innings. He retired the first nine hitters, then allowed seven hits, struck out seven, walked no one and hit one batter in Chicago's 3-0 loss to New York.
"I was able to throw the ball where I was trying to throw it," Danks said. "Make it do what I wanted it to do."
Danks (1-5) had retired 30 consecutive batters at home, dating to June 8 in a win against Oakland.
"He's pitching well enough to win, but we're not putting anything on the board for him," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Danks was roughed up in his last start against Minnesota, allowing six runs and 12 hits in five innings.
"It's good personally to have a good one especially coming off the one I had," Danks said. "I was able to use my fastball a lot more effectively than I was last time."
Second baseman Gordon Beckham was happy to see Danks get back into form.
"Good to see from him," Beckham said. "Welcome sight. He looked good. He looked more like the guy that we all know."
While Danks was moving in the right direction, not much else went right for the White Sox. Chicago managed just four hits and were shut out for the seventh time, with the season not even at the halfway point. The White Sox are last in the American League in runs scored.
"Listless offense," Ventura said. "I don't know the reason for it, but it can't happen.
"It's just unacceptable. You've got to put something on the board."
Chicago is also near the bottom in fielding. Alexei Ramirez, who had two of Chicago's four hits, committed an error, when a ground ball by center fielder Juan Lagares went under his glove. That allowed two unearned runs to score in the Mets' three run fifth inning.
That inning also produced two throws to the wrong base by left fielder Dayan Viciedo, which enabled New York runners to advance an extra base.
"He needs to throw that to second base to keep the double play in order," Ventura said. "It's just decision making. You can't make it for him."
The Mets, however, were making tough play after tough play in the infield.
"I'll tell you what, I thought we played some great defense," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "David (Wright) made two or three great plays. Q (shortstop Omar Quintanilla) made two outstanding plays, Murph (second baseman Daniel Murphy) made an outstanding play."
Shaun Marcum pitched eight shutout innings for his first win of the season, and Eric Young Jr. had three hits and drove in a run to lead the Mets.
Marcum (1-9) won for the first time since Oct. 1, 2012, while pitching for Milwaukee. He avoided becoming the first pitcher to start 0-10 since St. Louis' Anthony Reyes did it in 2007.
Marcum had lost his previous four starts and posted a 9.58 ERA in his last two outings. The veteran right-hander faced just three batters over the minimum. He scattered four hits and pitched around two walks and was helped by good defense behind him.
Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save in 16 chances.
In the fifth, Josh Satin led off with a single, and one out later moved to third on Andrew Brown's single with Brown taking second on the throw. Lagares followed with the grounder that got past Ramirez.
With two outs, Young added an RBI single to give the Mets a 3-0 lead.
NOTES: Before the game, Mets starter Jeremy Hefner was scheduled to go ahead of the team to Colorado, where he will pitch a makeup game on Thursday. But flight problems changed that plan, and he was to travel with his teammates. Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee flew back to New York to prepare for starts against Washington on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Collins said the rest of the team isn't expected to get back to New York until 4:00 Friday morning. ... The White Sox are 1-4 in their last five interleague games play. The win came over New York on Tuesday. ... Young will be making a quick visit to his former team on Thursday. "It's going to be my first time being on the visiting side when it comes to playing against the Rockies. I'm sure a lot of emotions are going to be involved. I'm very excited. I've been with that organization for nine, almost 10 years, it's my first time going against them."