Chicago White Sox left-hander John Danks entered Wednesday night's game at Camden Yards with some of the best early-season numbers in the majors.
He also had a brief history of not pitching well against the Orioles.
Something had to give.
It was the Orioles' offense, which couldn't do anything against Danks in an 8-2 loss before an announced crowd of 10,868, the third smallest in Camden Yards history.
Danks picked up his second win of the season and first in his career against the Orioles (7-8) with a seven-inning gem that included just one extra-base hit - a solo homer by Luke Scott in the fifth.
"If you ask me, he is one of the most underrated lefties in baseball," said Orioles first baseman Aubrey Huff, who had one of the four hits allowed by Danks. "You look at the second half of last year and he really started clicking."
Locating his changeup on both sides of the plate and mixing it with a cut fastball, the 24-year-old has given up nine hits and two runs in 19 innings this season. His ERA in three starts is 0.95.
"I really would compare his changeup to a [ New York Mets'] Johan Santana changeup," Huff said. "That changeup is probably his best pitch. It makes him really tough to gauge."
Danks' counterpart on the mound, Orioles ace Jeremy Guthrie, scuffled from the beginning, allowing runs in each of the first three innings.
"Not my best stuff. I wanted to execute some pitches and didn't," Guthrie said. "It's a real good ballclub and they put some runs up there, and they got great pitching by John."
Guthrie (2-1) settled down by the fourth, but overall he was tagged for five earned runs, eight hits and three walks in six-plus innings. He has given up 13 runs (10 earned) in his past two starts after yielding three in his first two games.
The night's tone was set with the first batters for each team.
White Sox rookie second baseman Chris Getz singled to start the game, moved to second on a groundout and scored on Carlos Quentin's broken-bat single to left to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first, Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts had an impressive 10-pitch at-bat against Danks that ended with a single to left. But he was picked off first base.
Huff singled with two outs in the first and then Danks retired 11 straight before Scott's third homer of the year. Danks set down eight of the next nine before leaving.
In Danks' three previous starts against the Orioles, he was 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA.
Guthrie (2-1) was looking for his third win in four starts this year, but his career troubles against the White Sox continued. In five previous games against Chicago, Guthrie was 0-2 with a 5.50 ERA.
It didn't get any better for him Wednesday night.
Guthrie, who threw 52 pitches in his first two innings and 104 overall, left in the sixth after giving up Getz's third single. Dennis Sarfate entered and promptly served up a two-run homer to Josh Fields, who had three hits and three RBIs.
"The difference between Jeremy and Danks tonight was location," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "Location of the pitches. Right from the very first inning, the White Sox made Jeremy work to get outs."
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