Indians-White Sox Preview

John Danks might be turning around his season following a rough start if his recent results are any indication.

He'll try to help the Chicago White Sox salvage a series split with the visiting Cleveland Indians on Thursday night.

Danks (2-3, 4.66 ERA) has been lackluster for a few seasons now, going 18-29 with a 4.88 ERA from 2012-2014. This year also began in equally unpromising fashion with a 1-3 record and 6.20 ERA in his first five outings.

The left-hander has given Chicago reason for optimism in his last two starts, though, giving up three runs and nine hits over 14 combined innings versus Cincinnati and Oakland.

"To get the last one and follow up with this one, it's good," Danks told MLB's official website after picking up his second win Saturday against the A's. "Hopefully it becomes a nice extended streak and helps us win some ballgames."

He'll be looking to buck a bad history versus Cleveland (16-23), against whom he is 5-12 with a 5.16 ERA in 24 career meetings. He allowed seven runs in two matchups spanning 10 2-3 innings last month, losing once. The 12 losses are his second-most against one club, trailing his 14 to Minnesota.

The White Sox (18-19) had won eight of nine before dropping the last two. They were held in check in Wednesday's 4-3 defeat by Cleveland's Shawn Marcum, who won in his first start in nearly two years after thoracic outlet syndrome threatened his career.

"Maybe after the season I'll sit back and reflect on it, but right now we've got to keep grinding away and trying to get better each and every day," Marcum said.

Michael Brantley drove in two runs to cap Cleveland's three-run seventh and Jose Ramirez was 2 for 3 with an RBI.

Cleveland gives the ball to Danny Salazar (4-1, 4.06 ERA). He allowed season worsts of seven runs - five earned - and two homers over 4 2-3 innings Saturday at Texas, though Cleveland rallied for a 10-8 victory. The right-hander didn't seem to have his best stuff, striking out a season-low four after fanning nine or more in four of his first five outings.

"He didn't have his changeup," manager Terry Francona told MLB's official website. "It looked like he was trying to get the fastball down to the wrong hitters early on."

Salazar has struggled in four career starts versus Chicago, going 2-1 with a 5.09 ERA, and is winless in two trips to U.S. Cellular Field.

Alexei Ramirez is batting just .235 but has owned Salazar, going 8 for 10 with a home run and double.

The Indians expect to have Carlos Santana back in their lineup Thursday after he missed his fourth straight game with back spasms.

"He was much, much better," Francona told MLB's official website. "I actually held the lineup out for a while because he was feeling pretty good."

Santana is third on the team with 20 RBIs, though he is 0 for 14 over his last four games and 2 for 17 versus Chicago this season.

Adam Eaton is batting .350 during a nine-game hitting streak after hitting his first homer in 144 games Wednesday, while Jose Abreu extended his streak to 15 games.

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