CHICAGO – Jordan Danks and the Chicago White Sox are having a lot of fun these days. It's quite a change from a large chunk of the disappointing year.
Danks hit a clutch two-run single in Chicago's three-run eighth inning, leading the White Sox to a 4-3 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
Danks finished with a career-high three hits as the White Sox won for the ninth time in 11 games, bouncing back from a difficult loss in the series opener. Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez and Avisail Garcia had two hits apiece.
"It's a lot of fun. It kind of reminds you of last year and how fun that was," said Danks, who extended his hitting streak to nine games. "Even though we didn't pull that out in the end it was a lot more loose and this is how we know how to play.
"Obviously we haven't done it the whole year but we know this is how we can play and we're very excited about it."
Matt Dominguez had three hits and two RBIs for the Astros, who had won three of four. Dominguez and Chris Carter hit consecutive two-out homers off closer Addison Reed to give Houston a 10-8 victory on Monday night.
The Astros appeared to be headed to their second straight win over the White Sox before the rally in the eighth.
With two outs and runners on first and second, Konerko singled in Jeff Keppinger to cut Houston's lead to 3-2. Garcia's infield hit then loaded the bases for Danks, who put the White Sox in front with a single to center off Erik Bedard (3-10).
Reed then came in and worked the ninth for his 36th save in 41 tries. Robbie Grossman had a two-out double for his third hit, but Reed got L.J. Hoes to bounce out to shortstop to end the game.
Donnie Veal (2-3) got one out for the win.
"Winning is fun. I mean, any time we're winning we're having a good time," Reed said. "Things have been good around here lately."
White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana allowed three runs and eight hits over 7 2-3 innings in his 16th no-decision, tops in the majors.
"I felt great the past three starts," Quintana said through a translator. "The only thing I concentrate on is giving the team the opportunity to win and battling. And that's what we've been doing — battling and fighting. I can't be happier to do that."
Dominguez had an RBI double in the fourth and a run-scoring single in the sixth. Carter hit an RBI single off Jake Petricka in the eighth, making it 3-1.
But Bedard, who was making his third relief appearance in 26 games this season, couldn't hold onto the lead.
"I was actually trying to get him to go ahead and finish it," manager Bo Porter said. "He's built up, he's been starting all year. And you look at where we're with their lineup, with the number of lefties in it. He's able to get lefties and righties out, you feel pretty good that Erik Bedard had the ball in that situation."
Paul Clemens pitched six sharp innings for Houston in his first career start. The right-hander, who was recalled Tuesday from Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowed one run and four hits and was in line for the win.
Clemens made his first 30 appearances of his rookie year out of the bullpen, compiling a 4-4 record and 6.36 ERA. Porter said Clemens will remain in the rotation for the rest of the season.
"It's an honor, it's a privilege," Clemens said. "Just got to continue to work."
That's what the White Sox are doing, albeit well too late to save their season. They managed to get back on track after a sloppy performance in the series opener.
"It was different from last night," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I think defensively and just decision-making was better tonight."
NOTES: Grossman singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. . INF Leury Garcia, acquired from Texas in the Alex Rios trade, made his first start for the White Sox, batting ninth and playing second base. Ventura said Garcia, who went 0 for 3, likely will start Wednesday at shortstop, giving Ramirez his first day off of the season. ... To make room for Clemens, the Astros optioned RHP David Martinez to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Martinez, who was 1-0 with a 5.86 ERA, pitched 2 2-3 innings for Monday's win. Porter said Martinez will return after the Triple-A playoffs. . Wednesday's pitching matchup is Houston's Jarred Cosart (1-1, 1.60 ERA) against Chris Sale (9-12, 3.08 ERA).