- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Chicago White Sox starter John Danks needed only two words to sum up his latest stumble at Minnesota.

“I stunk,” Danks said.

And he knew it right away.

Kennys Vargas went 4 for 4 with a three-run homer and four RBIs, rookie Byron Buxton had three hits while batting leadoff for the first time and the Twins trounced the White Sox 13-2 on Monday night.

Danks struggled during warmups in the bullpen and never a found a groove during the game. He pitched into the sixth inning, but the three-run shot by Vargas bought manager Robin Ventura to the mound for a change. Danks gave up nine hits, three homers and a walk, though four of the nine runs he was charged with were unearned.

“Got to get ahead and got to make quality pitches,” he said. “I did neither.”

Danks (3-8) lost his fourth straight start, pushing his ERA in June to 6.85.

“It wasn’t from a lack of trying, lack of care. Just the game of baseball,” said Danks, whose career record against the Twins dropped to 3-9 with a 6.82 ERA in 16 starts.

Not that the rest of the White Sox were helpful.

They made three errors and threw two wild pitches, hit into two double plays and were thrown out twice on the bases. This was also the ninth straight game in which the White Sox scored three runs or fewer, their longest such streak since 1976 when they played 10 in a row.

Oh, and reliever Scott Carroll turned his back to the plate while umpire Adrian Johnson was tossing him a new ball. It’s a wonder he didn’t get hit in the head.

“Just one of those nights, unfortunately,” said Gordon Beckham, who made several strong backhand stops at third base to keep the game from getting even more out of hand. “Right now, we’re just not finding a way to win the game or make the plays to win the game or get the knocks to win the game. We’re just not finding a way to do it.”

Joe Mauer homered to start a five-run fourth and Eduardo Nunez punctuated the inning with a two-out, two-run shot. The rally was fueled by a throwing error on shortstop Alexei Ramirez, whose attempt to start a double play sailed into right field.

Brian Dozier added a two-run homer in the eighth for the Twins, who are 8-3 against the White Sox this season while outscoring them 70-28.

Buxton also gave starter Tommy Milone (4-1) a lift by ending the third inning with a strong throw home from center field that went straight to catcher Kurt Suzuki’s mitt to keep Melky Cabrera from scoring on a single.

Milone hasn’t lost in four starts this month, allowing a total of seven earned runs. He gave up a two-run single to Adam LaRoche in the third and 10 hits in all, but the big lead let him settle in without any trouble.

The White Sox, who started a nine-game trip, fell to 2-11 on the road against AL Central foes. They’ve been outscored 58-19 in the first inning this year, both totals the worst in the majors.

DARRYL HAMILTON’S DEATH

Ventura and Minnesota manager Paul Molitor were teammates of outfielder Darryl Hamilton, who was murdered Sunday in suburban Houston, according to authorities. The 50-year-old Hamilton played with Molitor for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1988-92 and with Ventura for the New York Mets from 1999-2001.

“I’m still sick to my stomach. He’s a great person. I loved Darryl Hamilton. I loved playing with him,” Ventura said. “It’s just sad. You can’t really put into words how you feel just because he’s such a great guy.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

The injury-thinned White Sox bullpen is close to being back to full strength. LHP Dan Jennings, on the disabled list for the last two weeks because of inflammation in his neck, was sent on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Charlotte. RHP Matt Albers, who broke the pinkie on his pitching hand during a fight with the Kansas City Royals on April 23, will throw a simulated game Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Jeff Samardzija (4-4, 4.67 ERA) will start for the White Sox on Tuesday, his third appearance against the Twins this season. Mike Pelfrey (5-3, 2.97) takes the mound for Minnesota, also for the third time this year against the White Sox.


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