Danks dinged early as Sox drop third straight

Danks dinged early as Sox drop third straight

CHICAGO -- The Indians handed the White Sox their first home series loss after five straight victories by virtue of a 5-2 decision Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Cleveland claimed the last three games of this four-game set, allowing eight runs in total.

Danny Salazar followed the tone set by Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Shaun Marcum by holding the White Sox to five hits over six innings while striking out eight and walking three. The Indians picked up all the runs they needed in the first with four put up against John Danks.

Salazar earns fifth win

Danks had allowed three runs over his last 14 innings pitched. But seven of the first nine Cleveland hitters reached base against the southpaw, with five hits among those seven. Over the last three games, White Sox starters Danks, Carlos Rodon and Jose Quintana have thrown a total of 317 pitches but just 174 for strikes.

Danks whiffs Bourn

Mike Aviles had four hits for the Indians, including a first-inning homer. Tyler Flowers broke the shutout for the White Sox in the ninth with a two-run homer off Bryan Shaw.

"Our starting pitching's been great," Indians designated hitter Nick Swisher said. "We're getting some huge hits late, we're getting big hits when we need 'em and it's a lot of fun to play in these games."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
In need of a do over: Before the White Sox even came to bat, they found themselves trailing by four runs. Danks yielded back-to-back homers to Swisher and Aviles as part of the first-inning rally, both blasts coming on 1-2 pitches.

Bourn supremacy: With his pitch count approaching 100, Salazar got a little -- make that a lot -- of help from his defense to get out of the fifth inning. White Sox slugger Jose Abreu drove a ball that appeared to be a certain double, but Bourn raced over into right-center for a great running catch. He then gathered himself and fired to second baseman Jason Kipnis, who threw a strike to first baseman Carlos Santana to double off Melky Cabrera. Thinking the drive was a certain hit, Cabrera had rounded second and was headed to third when Bourn made the catch.

"That was a big play of the game," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Not only is it maybe second and third, or third and a run in, but we get a double play out of it. That was big."

Bourn's double play

Swing and a miss: The White Sox put two runners on base with one out in the first inning, courtesy of singles from Adam Eaton and Abreu, and they loaded the bases in the third. But Adam LaRoche and Avisail Garcia struck out to end the first and Garcia fanned swinging to end the third.

Ventura on loss to the Indians

Bounce back: Salazar lasted a season-low 4 2/3 in his last start, but rebounded nicely in this one with six shutout innings. It wasn't the prettiest outing -- he surrendered five hits and three walks -- but he kept the White Sox off the board.

QUOTABLE
"Anytime you lose a few in a row, you've got to hit reset and come back out tomorrow and do the best you can to forget about how the past series went. It's frustrating. Individually, it's frustrating. I'm trying to figure it out. And I know as a team, it [stinks] losing a few in a row anytime. So you know, we'll snap out of it." -- LaRoche on the team's three-game losing streak following six straight wins

ABREU RUN CONTINUES
With a first inning single, Abreu extended his hitting streak to 16 games. His career-high is 21 from the 2014 season, which followed an 18-game hitting streak when he hit in 39 of 40 games from June 15 to Aug. 1.

BACK IN THE SWING OF THINGS
After missing four straight games with back spasms, Santana was back in the lineup. His bat had been missed in the first three games of the series, especially with the White Sox starting all left-handers. The switch-hitter's presence in the No. 2 hole immediately paid dividends. He drew a walk and scored a run in the Indians' four-run first. Santana drove in a run in the second inning with a dribbler just in front of the plate to make it 5-0.

WHAT'S NEXT
Indians: Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (4-4, 4.98 ERA) faces right-hander Mike Leake (2-2, 3.62) in the opener of an interleague series against the intrastate-rival Reds. First pitch is 7:10 p.m. ET. Carrasco is coming off a complete-game, eight-inning loss at Texas last Sunday.

White Sox: Jeff Samardzija matched a season-high by working eight innings during his victory last Sunday over the A's. He fanned five, walked three and allowed three runs during his fourth quality start with the White Sox. He opens this weekend series against the Twins at 7:10 p.m. CT Friday, which includes Paul Konerko's jersey retirement ceremony on Saturday.

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John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.