CHICAGO -- Two teams heading in opposite directions continued down their respective paths Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
White Sox starter John Danks gave up a bases-clearing double to Boston's Darnell McDonald as part of a five-run sixth inning for the Red Sox, who defeated the White Sox, 10-3, to hand the South Siders their fourth straight loss.
It's the longest losing streak of the season for the White Sox, who now sit 10-10.
The loss also continued Chicago's poor play at home. The White Sox are 1-6 in their last seven games at U.S. Cellular Field and have lost 13 of their last 19 home games dating back to last season.
Danks gave up a season-high seven runs on six hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings. Only 59 of his 93 pitches were strikes as the left-hander fell to 2-3 with a 6.23 ERA in five starts this season.
"I'm not OK with it at all," Danks said of his season. "I've stole two wins and I've pitched [poorly] the other ones. That's way too inconsistent. That's the deal. You've got to go out there and I've got to do my job."
Danks managed to get through the game's first five innings without much damage, giving up only a two-run homer to Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz in the second. After getting out of a one-out jam with runners on first and second in the third, Danks took advantage of impatient Red Sox batters in the fourth and fifth, needing only 13 pitches to complete the two frames.
It all unraveled for the southpaw in the sixth, however, after Paul Konerko's fifth homer of the season gave the White Sox a 3-2 lead.
Danks issued consecutive one-out walks to Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis before Ortiz and Cody Ross hit back-to-back singles, with Ross' knock tying the game. After Danks struck out catcher Kelly Shoppach, McDonald doubled to left field to clear the bases.
Red Sox center fielder Marlon Byrd drove in Byrd with a single to complete the scoring for that inning and Danks' night.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura and Danks agreed the two one-out walks ignited the rally.
"Walks have bit me ... all year to this point, so definitely something we're going to have to focus on -- that and keeping the ball in the ballpark," Danks said. "It's frustrating. It sucks. Sucks to go out there and get your head handed to you."
Reliever Nate Jones got the White Sox out of the sixth by striking out Mike Aviles, but allowed two runs of his own in the seventh. He left with the bases loaded before fellow reliever Dylan Axelrod got Byrd to fly out to end the inning in his season debut.
While Danks struggled, his counterpart spun his second straight quality start. Red Sox right-hander Daniel Bard (2-2, 3.72 ERA) allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits in seven innings to help the Red Sox win their fifth straight.
Bard said he was appreciative of the solid offensive output against Danks on a night the game-time temperature was 39 degrees.
"Danks is awesome, he's been good for a long time, and you've got some relievers coming in throwing 95 [mph] in this cold, but they just stuck with their approach and waited to get their pitch," Bard said. "Made it easy on me."
The White Sox scored the game's first run on A.J. Pierzynski's double in the opening inning and, after Ortiz's homer, tied it in the third thanks to two Boston defensive miscues.
Alexei Ramirez led off by reaching on a throwing error by Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, and Konerko followed with a shallow pop fly that fell into left-center field.
Ramirez advanced to third on a fielder's choice by Pierzynski and, with right fielder Alex Rios at bat, Red Sox catcher Shoppach couldn't catch a Bard pitch that was about shoulder high to Rios. The ball went off Shoppach's glove and bounced behind him, allowing Ramirez to score.
The White Sox had a chance to add more runs that inning when Bard couldn't handle Rios' broken-bat comebacker, putting runners at the corners, but Aviles made a nice over-the-shoulder catch in shallow center to end the inning.
The White Sox didn't put up much of a fight after Konerko's fifth-inning homer, as their last 13 batters were retired in order.
Friday marked the second straight day the White Sox allowed a season-high 10 runs, and the six walks Danks, Jones and Axelrod issued tied a season high. White Sox pitchers also have allowed 11 home runs in their last six home games, while the offense hasn't been much better.
The White Sox are hitting .258 with runnings in scoring position and have left 52 men on base in their last seven games.
"I think baseball is that way," Ventura said of his club's four-game losing streak following four straight wins. "There's good teams out there and I think when you play like that, that's going to happen. When you go out against a team and you put guys on, it just makes it tougher."