Manager Ozzie Guillen noticed that John Danks' last pitch Wednesday night was clocked at 91 m.p.h.

Danks insisted his left arm feels fine after throwing a professional-high 1602/3 innings.

"I wish I had an answer," Danks said after he and his White Sox teammates suffered a lackluster 11-3 loss at Baltimore that cut their lead in the American League Central to one game over Minnesota.

"I was pretty bad. There was no other way of putting it. I was just flat-out bad."

Danks' four-inning stint summed up a night of shortcomings for the Sox.

Designated hitter Jim Thome celebrated his 38th birthday with an RBI single but was thrown out easily trying to stretch it into a double for the final out of the third inning.

Baltimore journeyman infielder Juan Castro celebrated a 2-for-3 performance by dropping a two-run single in front of center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. in the fifth.

With Lance Broadway chewing up four innings — and getting tagged for seven runs — the Sox at least were able to rest their bullpen heading into this weekend's series at defending World Series champion Boston.

Danks (10-7), whose next scheduled start is Monday at Cleveland against 19-game winner Cliff Lee, will have plenty of time to digest one of his worst outings.

"This will be a long five days," Danks said. "I wish I could fast-forward this Boston series and get back on the mound in Cleveland. There's just no other way to put it. I was just flat-out awful, and hopefully I can put this behind me soon. It will be a long night."

Danks was pulled after throwing 93 pitches and never getting into a rhythm.

" A.J. [Pierzynski] would call a fastball in, and I'd throw it away," said Danks, whose last hitter lined out to left field.

"My breaking stuff wasn't there. It just wasn't there. My changeup was up. I was just flat-out bad."

The Sox also minimized their scoring opportunities against Baltimore starter Radhames Liz, who had a 7.32 ERA entering Wednesday's game but managed to limit the Sox to two runs despite five walks in 51/3 innings.

"It was a tough night for everyone," Guillen said.

Guillen wasn't sure whether his players would need Thursday's day off as much as he will after completing a stretch of 22 games, including Monday's resumption of a suspended game, in 22 days.

"[The players] have a day off once in a while," Guillen said. "I need it."

Guillen didn't seem concerned that the Sox knew the second-place Twins had won before their game.

"It doesn't matter to me," Guillen said. "We have to win. We have to win every game we can, no matter how Minnesota plays. We look up there and they lose a game, if we don't win, it doesn't mean a thing.

"You can't control two teams in one day. You have to control what you do here."

mgonzales@tribune.com