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CWS@TOR: Quentin belts a solo shot in the first

TORONTO -- There are plenty of reasons to dislike border travel, but White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has one in particular. He has to play the Blue Jays.

"It turned out to be another bad trip to Canada -- a very bad trip to Canada," Guillen said after watching his team get pummeled, 13-4, by the Blue Jays on Sunday at Rogers Centre.

The loss was the club's eighth in its last 10 against the Blue Jays and gave the White Sox a 3-15 record in Toronto dating back to the start of 2007. The White Sox opened this four-game set with a win on Thursday night but dropped the next three games by a combined score of 26-14.

"I thought we were going to play better here, to be honest with you. I thought the team was playing pretty good," Guillen said. "We continue to play really bad in this ballpark."

At the heart of the White Sox struggles on Sunday was starting pitcher John Danks, who gave up nine earned runs on nine hits, three of them home runs. It was his shortest start of the year and the most runs he's given up in a single outing in his career.

He dropped to 0-8 on the season and is the first White Sox pitcher to start the season with eight consecutive losses since Eddie Smith in 1942.

"Obviously, today I was just terrible. There's really no other way of putting it," Danks said. "I didn't make very good pitches and got hit hard. It's definitely one where you try to put it behind you."

The 26-year-old said he felt fine physically and attributed most of his struggles to not having good command of his changeup and cutter -- the two pitches on which he primarily relies.

"More times than not, I have at least one of them. Today, I didn't have either," Danks said. "I tried to lean heavily on the curveball and it worked, but by that point it was too late."

It was just the latest setback for Danks, who has allowed four runs or more in five of his 11 starts. He has especially had trouble on the road, where he is now 0-6 with a 6.50 ERA in six starts. To his credit, however, Danks has only received eight runs of support in those starts.

"I've gone out there the last month trying to hit reset on the season and start over. Look like we'll do that again," Danks said. "But you just keep plugging away the best you can. I feel like a broken record the last month, but you just keep on trying to get back on track."

Things actually started well for the White Sox, who took a one-run lead in the first inning. Carlos Quentin went deep to left field for his club-leading 13th home run.

But it was all downhill from there as Danks allowed six of the first seven batters he faced to cross the plate, surrendering a grand slam to Aaron Hill and a solo shot to Edwin Encarnacion in the very next at-bat.

Danks would need 51 pitches to get through the six-run, seven-hit first inning, which is the most pitches a Major League pitcher has thrown in the opening inning all season according to Elias Sports Bureau.

The White Sox got one back in the third when Paul Konerko singled in Juan Pierre from second base, but Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero got Alex Rios to fly out to end the inning.

Romero then struck out the side in order in the fourth as he put things in cruise control for his fifth win of the season. He left after seven innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits.

"I know today I didn't have that much good stuff, but I battled and I let them put the ball in play and let the defense work," Romero said. "Credit [goes] to our offense -- it did a tremendous job today. I started feeling a lot better in the last two or three innings."

Lucas Harrell -- recalled from Triple-A Charlotte -- relieved Danks in the fifth and retired the first two batters he faced before allowing the Blue Jays to string together four hits and a walk to plate three two-out runs.

"Sometimes you throw good pitches and they make better hits," Harrell said. "I felt pretty good about it overall."

Harrell allowed one run in the sixth and pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth, leaving having allowed four runs on nine hits.

Harrell's marathon four-inning relief performance was not lost on his manager.

"This kid threw very well for us today. He might not know what he did, but we know as a manager and a pitching coach, we know what he did for the club," Guillen said. "To go out and get the innings so we [don't have to] use the bullpen, as a manager you always appreciate that."

Guillen will need that bullpen to be as rested as possible as things don't get any easier for the team which opens a three-game series with the American League East-leading Red Sox on Monday.

It's the final stop on a three-city road trip that has had the White Sox away from home since May 23.

"Today is one of those games where it happens. We didn't do anything right today and everybody feels bad," Pierre said. "We lost the series and all that, but we have a tough series ahead of us tomorrow, so we can't hang our heads about this one. We just have to go out there tomorrow and continue to fight. That's it." Comments