John Danks is 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 11 career starts in Kansas City. In fact, he's 7-1 with a 2.64 ERA in 17 lifetime starts against the Royals.
Unforunately, that one loss was Thursday, as the Royals defeated the White Sox, 4-1, to complete a three-game sweep. Not even Danks' track record of success in Kansas City could prevent the South Siders from sliding to an 0-3 start to the 2015 season.
Like most Sox pitchers, Danks did not have a good spring, and he was shelled by Triple-A hitters in each of his final two exhibition outings. In that context, I think most Sox fans would have been delighted if he had gotten through six innings Thursday and kept his team in the game.
He was one strike away from doing that, but a high changeup to Salvador Perez with two outs in the bottom of the sixth got hammered over the left-field fence, increasing a 2-0 Kansas City lead to 4-0. At that point, the sweep was inevitable.
The two teams traded HBPs throughout the series, and the only reason the Sox got on the board in this game was because Kansas City starter Edinson Volquez was apparently trying to settle the score in that regard in the seventh inning.
Volquez beaned Adam LaRoche with two outs and nobody on base. After a walk to Avisail Garcia, the HBP came around to score on an RBI single by Alexei Ramirez.
If Volquez was trying to send a message, I think he was wasting his time. The Royals sent a much louder message by outplaying the Sox in every facet. They outscored the Sox 21-7 in the series, and the scoreboard was an accurate reflection of the play.
The Royals have now won 14 of the last 17 head-to-head matchups with the Sox, and that's something that's going to have to change if the Sox are to contend in the AL Central this year.
The Sox will now limp home for a three-game weekend series against the Minnesota Twins. If there's a silver lining here, it's that the Twins also are 0-3. Minnesota got outscored 22-1 in its three-game series loss to the Detroit Tigers. We'll find out Friday which team is playing worse, the Twins or the Sox.