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DET@CWS: Danks allows two runs over seven frames

After Sunday's 6-3 loss to the Royals, the White Sox have lost four in a row and seven of their last nine.

But manager Robin Ventura knows Chicago -- which was only 5 1/2 games out of the American Central lead and four games out of the Wild Card race after the defeat -- still has a chance in the postseason race.

"You go through stretches like this and you don't enjoy it, but you have to weather it," Ventura said. "Every team is going to go through one of these. I think the other teams will go through portions of this type of thing the rest of the season. You have to weather it and stick together and concentrate on the right stuff.

"You get caught up in focusing on that kind of stuff, the negative stuff, this could continue and get worse. For us, it's concentrate on the game you're playing that day. Make it simple and try to stop it now."

John Danks (5-5, 4.17 ERA) will make the start for the White Sox on Tuesday. He gave up two earned runs in seven innings in his most recent start, an 8-2 win against Detroit on Wednesday.

"I'm in a good rhythm," Danks said. "I owe a lot of credit to both of the catchers and the work [pitching coach Don Cooper] put in with me. I'm not going to rest on my laurels. I've been humbled in this game before, so I'm going to try to keep from doing that again."

Giants starter Matt Cain (1-4, 3.84 ERA) is in search of that rhythm. He allowed four runs in five innings against Washington in a 6-2 loss Wednesday. Cain struck out four, but he also gave up five walks.

"I was just missing off the plate, and I couldn't get the ball back on the plate for some reason to the first three hitters," Cain said. "I was a few inches off on both sides of the plate and missed badly with some of them. I put our guys behind the eight ball. That was too much of a deficit to try to come back from."

Giants: Perfect timing for off-day
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy would rather his team's off-days be spread out, but having two days off in a four-day span appears to be coming at the right time for the Giants.

"It serves them well, some of those guys, to get a little break," Bochy said.

Center fielder Angel Pagan was a late scratch from Sunday's game with lower back stiffness. Losing Pagan, their catalyst, for any extended period would be a major blow to the Giants.

Additionally, second baseman Brandon Hicks has been mired in an 8-for-64 slump in his last 22 games, and the strikeout-prone Hicks didn't start the Giants' last two games as Bochy sought out a chance for Hicks to press the proverbial reset button.

The pair of off-days sandwiching a two-game series against the White Sox could force Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti to alter the rotation, which they've discussed.

"I don't think right now that we're going to do that, but that was an option," Bochy said Sunday, wary of a potential seven-day stretch between starts for some of his starters.

The biggest blow to the Giants would be if catcher Buster Posey has to miss any significant time. He left Sunday's game in the bottom of the fourth inning after taking a foul tip off the mask in the top of the inning.

Posey also took a hard foul ball off the mask on Tuesday. Bochy and head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner came out to check on Posey, but he remained in the game on defense before being removed for a pinch-hitter.

White Sox: Konerko knows how to stay ready
With right-handers Matt Cain and Tim Hudson on the mound for the Giants this week, don't look for Chicago captain Paul Konerko to get a start in either of the two games. His job this year, aside from his continued veteran leadership, has been primarily to go against left-handed hurlers.

In his first start since June 8 against the Angels, Konerko knocked out three hits against lefty Danny Duffy on Saturday, including his 438th career homer. But even with the down time, broken up by pinch-hitting responsibilities, Konerko keeps himself ready to go at all times.

"I try to work out and bounce around when I'm not playing, so I'm constantly feeling like I'm playing," Konerko said. "I don't want to grind as much as I do when I am playing, but you do have to do some things to get yourself moving, because otherwise you feel more sluggish when you get out there.

"But overall, you feel better, the things that always bothered you, you should feel better. It's all about the timing. It takes such a little miss to make an out."

Worth noting:
• Danks has been on fire over his past four starts. He's picked up 17 strikeouts against six walks, and collected a 1.53 ERA in that time.

• Cain has given up six hits or fewer in his past five starts. His ERA is 3.25 over that period, but his record is 1-1, thanks to poor run support. The Giants have not scored more than six runs for him since April 23 at Colorado. Comments