GLENDALE, Ariz. -- They weren’t on display on Thursday afternoon, but John Danks has seen enough signs this spring to think he’s progressing as he should.
The White Sox pitcher allowed three runs and four hits, including a long solo home run, in a 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Danks yielded two first-inning runs before Alex Guerrero homered beyond the bullpen in left in his second inning.
“Definitely not as nearly sharp as I’d like to be, but I don’t think anybody is at this point,” Danks said. “I feel like I’m on pace for where I need to be.”
“As it gets closer, you put a lot more into it.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura thought Danks -- who trailed 1-0 after three batters -- missed up in the strike zone. He also suggested Danks may have had some jitters given its early in the spring and pitchers haven’t faced much live hitting. Ventura has stressed that he hopes to see better results this spring and wants his team to get out to a fast start. But he wasn’t too concerned about his pitcher or an offense that had to face Clayton Kershaw in its opening game.
The White Sox offense finished with three hits. Todd Frazier had a sacrifice fly to drive in the team’s only run. Brett Lawrie walked twice and scored a run. Dioner Navarro went 2-for-2 in the losing effort.
“To see (Kershaw) the first game out of the gate, it’s always tough,” Ventura said. “But it’s one game. I still like where our guys are at and what they’re doing. So I’m not going to make too much of this.”
Danks said he wouldn’t overthink it, either. He’s not just going to dismiss it, but Danks is focused on health and workload.
“I am not going to completely forget about tonight,” Danks said. “There’s some things in the game itself that burn at you, need to be better.
“But I don’t know, for me, if you’re ready and healthy and sharp as you need to be April 1, that’s the goal out here.”
[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
Adam Eaton’s throwing ability is still untested, though Ventura said the center fielder has improved. Eaton went 0-for-3 as the designated hitter for the White Sox.
Eaton, who had surgery on the shoulder in October, said he’s 100 percent for Opening Day. But the team has decided to be cautious in its approach.
“He’s getting there,” Ventura said. “He can throw, it’s just not what you would really want a guy to go out there and throw from center field. We’re trying to protect that.”