LOS ANGELES (AP) — After watching his team record only two hits and lose for the sixth time in eight games, Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly didn’t mince words in his assessment of the slumping Dodgers.
“We’re just not that good,” Mattingly said after a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night. “We’re just not getting it done. Losing at home, away, whatever. Just basically being (expletive).”
Dee Gordon was responsible for the Dodgers’ only hits, a bunt single to lead off the first and a double in the eighth. Otherwise they couldn’t touch White Sox starter John Danks, who pitched 7 1-3 innings, gave up both hits and the run and struck out five.
“He just mixed his pitches well and kept us off balance all night,” Gordon said. “The guys are frustrated. We have the talent but we’re not winning games. It’s frustrating for everyone.”
The Dodgers, with a record $239 million dollar payroll, fell to eight games out of first place.
“I really think you should talk to (the players),” Mattingly said. “I’m tired of answering questions, honestly.”
Danks (4-5) entered the game 1-3 with a 6.83 ERA in five road starts this season but was able to conquer his problems away from home.
He threw 107 pitches and didn’t allow a baserunner past second base. He walked three and hit two batters, but worked around those miscues.
“I felt like I was able to make a pitch when I needed to,” he said. “It wasn’t as sharp as I’d like but I guess you can call it effectively wild.”
He also had an infield single in the sixth inning, just his second hit in 28 career plate appearances.
“Even a blind squirrel finds a nut,” he chuckled. “That’s pure luck right there.”
His effort was just enough to outdo Dodgers starter Josh Beckett (3-3), who delivered a quality start but suffered his second consecutive loss since throwing a no-hitter against Philadelphia on May 25. The right-hander went six innings and allowed two runs and nine hits, walked two and struck out six.
A pair of homers helped put Danks in position for the win, including the first of Leury Garcia’s major league career.
Garcia was homerless in his first 74 career games, but ended that drought in impressive fashion. The 23-yer old Dominican belted a first-pitch fastball deep over the center field fence, an estimated 400 feet, to stake Chicago to a 1-0 lead.
“He has power, it’s just more of his game is hitting on the ground,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He hit it at the right time of day that’s for sure. Ball carries earlier here, if it was later in the night it may not have gone out.”
Adam Dunn followed Garcia, hitting a 2-2 cutter into the right field stands for his ninth homer of the season.
The Dodgers were able to get on the scoreboard once Danks left the game. Reliever Zach Putnam entered after Gordon’s double, and walked Yasiel Puig. Gordon came home on a Hanley Ramirez fielder’s choice. Scott Downs then entered and induced Adrian Gonzalez to ground out to end the threat.
Chicago closer Ronald Belisario slammed the door on his former team in the ninth, retiring the side in order for his fifth save.
Notes: A moment of silence was held before the game for Don Zimmer, who passed away Wednesday at the age of 83. Zimmer played for the Dodgers from 1954-59 and in 1963 … Injured Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford went through a full pre-game workout that included batting practice. He is on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left ankle and is eligible to be activated May 12 … Beckett reached 2,000 career innings after completing the fourth inning … Chicago manager Robin Ventura successfully challenged a call at third base in the bottom fourth, overturning an earlier safe call and ending the inning. Ventura is now 4 for 11 on challenges this season.