Danks, Thome lead White Sox past Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas —John Danks showed the Texas fans what they’re missing.

Danks, the White Sox left-hander who was once the Rangers’ top pitching prospect, struck out eight with no walks in 7 2-3 innings Saturday night and AL Central-leading Chicago beat Texas 9-7.

Carlos Quentin’s two-run single in the sixth snapped a 2-2 tie and put the White Sox ahead to stay. Kevin Millwood (6-5) was gone one batter later after giving up another hit on his 106th pitch.

Danks (7-4) retired 14 straight batters before giving up consecutive doubles to German Duran and Ian Kinsler in the eighth. Kinsler’s run-scoring hit extended his hitting streak to 24 games, longest in the majors this season.

Josh Hamilton, the starting All-Star outfielder, upped his majors-leading RBI total to 95 with a pair of run-scoring singles for Texas. It was his fifth consecutive game with multiple RBIs, and the eighth straight in which he drove home a run.

After Hamilton’s RBI single with two outs in the third, Danks didn’t allow another base runner until Duran doubled. Danks was relieved, and left with an 8-4 lead, after Hamilton singled home Young.

Jim Thome and Paul Konerko hit back-to-back homers in the eighth for Chicago, which maintained its 1 1/2 -game division lead over Minnesota. Thome, who finished with four RBIs, hit a two-run shot for his 525th career homer before Konerko capped his 4-for-4 night with his homer.

The 23-year-old Danks, a Texas native who was the ninth overall pick by the Rangers in the 2003 draft, was traded to Chicago in December 2006 in a five-player deal that sent Brandon McCarthy to Texas. Danks earned a spot in the White Sox rotation the following spring.

Danks allowed more than two earned runs for the first time in six starts. But he is 4-0 his last nine starts, since allowing two runs over five innings in a loss to the Los Angeles Angels on May 24.

McCarthy was also on the mound Saturday, throwing 25 pitches in a simulated game at the Rangers’ spring training complex in Arizona. McCarthy has been on the disabled list all season (right forearm inflammation) after going 5-10 with two DL stints last year.

The Rangers have used 12 different starting pitchers this season, and 26 pitchers total.

Millwood, his start pushed back a day because of a sore left groin, allowed five runs and 10 hits. And the White Sox stranded nine runners the first five innings, leaving the bases loaded twice against the right-hander.

Konerko, who had been 2-for-15 with seven strikeouts since coming off the disabled list Tuesday from a strained oblique muscle, had an RBI single in the third to tie the game 1-1, and his ninth homer made it 8-2. Thome had a sacrifice fly in the fifth after Jermaine Dye snapped a 2-for-20 slump with a triple, and Thome added an RBI double in the sixth.

Milton Bradley, the All-Star DH who hadn’t started the previous three games because a sore left knee, led off the Texas second with his 18th homer, a 429-foot shot.