Danks shrugs off shot to head in 6-2 White Sox win
PHOENIX (AP) — John Danks took a line drive to the head and came up smiling.
The Chicago White Sox left-hander was still grinning in the clubhouse after his seven-inning performance earned the admiration of teammates and foes alike in his team's 6-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
"I'm OK, really," he said.
After talking briefly to reporters, Danks left with an ice pack applied to the large knot on the left side of his head for a precautionary CT scan at a hospital.
"That guy's pretty gutsy," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "It looked like it hit him in the back of the head and one-hopped into the stands. He pitched well. He wanted to stay in the game. He was actually smiling about getting hit, so he's certainly a gamer in my book."
Danks pitched three innings after taking the shot in the fourth.
Stephen Drew's line drive careened off the side of Danks' head and bounced into the photographer's well adjacent to the Diamondbacks' dugout for a ground-rule double. The White Sox pitcher bounced to his feet smiling and assured everyone he was all right. He took a few practice pitches, then stayed in the game to the cheers of the crowd.
"I like to have a good time," he said. "I didn't think I was hurt by all means. They came out and checked me out. I passed all the tests during the game, was able to say in the game. I was trying to stay in the game and fortunately they let me do that. You know what, it's a laugh. There were some people that were scared. (Catcher Ramon) Castro told me a couple of times 'Hey, you all right?' but I'm good."
He said he had "a hundred text messages" from his worried mother. There were others who contacted him with a bit less concern.
"I'm getting text messages now, 'Way to use your head,'" Danks said.
He won his third straight after starting the season 0-8.
Danks (3-8), who has allowed two earned runs in 22 innings in his last three starts, gave up two runs, one earned, on seven hits through seven innings. He struck out seven with no walks.
"I knew he was fine because he never lost any consciousness. He was talking. He was bouncing around very well. He was looking for the ball," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said, laughing. "But your heart stops for a couple of seconds. When we walked out there he said he was fine. The umpire did a tremendous job of talking to him, making sure he was OK, making sure we did the right thing."
Paul Konerko went 3 for 4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored as the White Sox squared the three-game interleague series at one apiece. Alex Rios, who had four RBIs, blew open a close game with a three-run homer off reliever Micah Owings in the eighth inning.
Konerko homered for the second game in a row and is batting .446 (29 for 65) in the last 17 games. His home run Saturday moved him ahead of Carlos Delgado for third-most in interleague play with 51.
Alexei Ramirez also had three hits, including a double, for the White Sox, who had scored two runs in their previous three games, all losses.
Konerko broke a 2-all tie with one out in the sixth, sending Duke's 0-1 pitch into the left field seats for his 54th RBI to make it 3-2.
Drew's double off Danks' head put runners on second and third with no outs, the only serious trouble the Chicago left-hander experienced. Willie Bloomquist, who singled ahead of Drew, came home on Danks' wild pitch. Drew scored on Justin Upton's sacrifice fly to tie it at 2-2,
Chicago got one in the second and another in the third.
Konerko led off the second with a single, then moved to third on Ramirez's double. Konerko came home on Rios' groundout. In the third, Brent Morel doubled and took third when Carlos Quentin flied out. Konerko followed with an RBI single and the White Sox led 2-0.
The Diamondbacks had runners on second and third with one in the seventh out after Xavier Nady beat out an infield single and Melvin Mora doubled off the glove of a leaping Brent Lillibridge at the left field wall. But Danks got Henry Blanco to pop out and struck out Owings on three pitches.
Duke allowed three runs on five hits in 5 1-3 innings.
NOTES: A line drive foul by Lillibridge hit Konerko's father and brother in the stands. Dad was fine and the brother had a slight thumb injury. "My mother was talking the whole time and didn't see any of it," Konerko said. ... After Sunday's series finale, the Diamondbacks play 16 of 19 on the road leading up to the All-Star Game, to be played Aug. 12 at Chase Field. ... Konerko (54) and Quentin (47) account for 101 of Chicago's 283 RBIs. ... SS Drew's 11 assists in Friday night's 4-1 Arizona victory were the most in the majors since Pittsburgh 2B Ramon Vazquez had 11 against Houston on July 7, 2009. ... The White Sox have won 14 of their last 17 interleague games. ... Konerko is 17 home runs shy of 400.