CHICAGO -- Over the course of their recent five-game losing streak, the White Sox saw just about every element of the game go wrong at some point. In their 5-2 series-opening win against the Orioles on Tuesday, they snapped that streak with a ballgame that saw just about everything go their way.
John Danks turned in a strong seven-plus-inning performance to snap a personal three-game losing streak and a six-game skid against the American League East as Connor Gillaspie and Adam Dunn each homered in the victory. With the win, Chicago managed to avoid falling to a season-worst 16 games under .500.
"It's nice. We've had some tough nights here the last few," manager Robin Ventura said. "To be able to go through it and you get some clutch hitting, Johnny had a nice game, [Alexei Ramirez] has a nice night, he was hitting it hard and hustling and doing things you like to see. … That's the stuff than helps you win games."
It was Chicago's first win since June 25, and just the club's second since June 22. But it left the last-place White Sox still with a feeling of optimism in an AL Central race that likely remains up for grabs. The South Siders sit 10 1/2 games back of the first-place Indians, but hope remains in the home clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field.
"Show up tomorrow and try to win tomorrow. See what happens," said second baseman Gordon Beckham, who went 3-for-4 to improve his average to .385 on the current homestand. "Ten-game winning streaks have happened before, so we'll continue to show up and do the work and hopefully we'll get on a roll here."
Danks, who needed only 93 pitches to get through seven-plus innings, scattered six hits and two runs while striking out four. The lefty is now 2-1 with a 2.23 ERA in four home starts this year.
He worked carefully through a potent Orioles lineup that features an MVP and Triple Crown candidate in first baseman Chris Davis and the league's leader in Wins Above Replacement, third baseman Manny Machado.
"Changeup. That was his pitch tonight," Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said. "He had everybody off balance. That was his pitch, his go-to pitch and it worked."
Danks has not issued more than one walk in each of his eight starts this year.
"Definitely my last few, I've felt I've had command," Danks said. "Just trying not to hurt myself. Trying not to hurt guys, trying to keep the ball in the ballpark. [Brian Roberts] got me. He ambushed a first-pitch heater."
The lone Orioles damage came in the third, when Baltimore took a 1-0 lead on Roberts' first home run since April 13, 2011.
Chicago responded in the next inning, when Gillaspie walked and later scored on Beckham's single. Gillaspie broke the 1-1 tie with a solo homer of his own into the right-field seats in the sixth.
The White Sox broke it open in the seventh when Alejandro De Aza was hit by a pitch from Orioles starter Jason Hammel and scored when Alex Rios grounded into a fielder's choice. Rios came around to score on Dunn's 22nd homer, a 427-foot blast to right field in the following at-bat.
Danks left the game after surrendering a leadoff single to Nick Markakis in the eighth, and right-hander Nate Jones walked a batter and surrendered an Adam Jones RBI single before Matt Thornton finished the inning. Addison Reed converted his first save since June 22, and his 22nd of the year.
"We know how good we are," Danks said. "We know we got a [tough] road ahead of us. We did it to ourselves. But we know how capable we are of going on a run. We just hope we're able to do it, starting now."