CHICAGO -- If John Danks was going to get back into rhythm anywhere, Wrigley Field is as good a place as any.
In two career starts at Wrigley, the 27-year-old lefty boasts a stellar 1.38 ERA and microscopic 0.77 WHIP.
Danks continued that dominance Saturday, hurling 6 13 innings of shutout baseball against the Cubs, allowing just three hits en route to a 7-4 White Sox victory.
"This is what I expect every time," White Sox slugger Adam Dunn said of Danks. "He's got really good stuff. He's such a competitor out there, that if things don't go his way, it's hard not to press and I think at times, he does. That's why I think tonight with Dayan Viciedo giving him some early runs, he settled down and pitched like he's capable of pitching."
Danks had a 6.46 ERA heading into Saturday and was walking a career-high 4.2 batters per nine innings. He had been particularly dismal over his past three starts, allowing 13 earned runs on 23 hits over 17 innings. Most worriesome, however, was the seven walks and only two strikeouts over that span.
He walked just one batter Saturday, while striking out four Cub hitters.
"From the first hitter on, he threw strikes," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "As long as he throws strikes, he's pretty good, but that's pretty much true of every pitcher."
Danks agreed with his batterymate.
"It was good," he said. "I was throwing strikes...I just wanted to stay ahead of them and make them hit my pitches. I caught some breaks, but all in all, it went pretty well."
Danks started the game off by retiring the first 13 Cubs hitters in order. He was removed in the seventh after striking out Bryan LaHair for the second time, but was only at 83 pitches on the day.
"He just looked tired," Sox manager Robin Ventura said after the game. "He pitched fine, but he was looking fatigued a little bit and his velocity was going down. With an off day coming up, I just wanted to take him out and get some other guys in."
Danks didn't have any argument on his manager's decision.
"I just work here," he said, laughing. "Robin made the right call. I'm just excited to have a good game and hopefully this will be the run I need to kickstart my season."
As for why he throws better at Wrigley Field, Danks just thinks it comes down to having fun during a big series for the city of Chicago.
"This is an exciting game," he said of pitching in the crosstown series. "There's a lot of energy in the ballpark. This is a game I enjoy throwing in for sure."