CHICAGO -- John Danks' fastball isn't what it once was so if the new version isn't exactly where he intends it to go, days like Wednesday will happen.
In his second outing since spending a year on the disabled list, the Chicago White Sox's starter lacked the crispness of his return to the major leagues on Friday and the Chicago Cubs rolled to a 9-3 victory.
Danks gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits over four innings and was tagged for two of the three home runs hit by the Cubs' Dioner Navarro.
Both of Navarro's home runs against Danks came on changeups, but that wasn't the pitch that concerned the lefty most on Wednesday.
"Those were two pitches I'd love to have back," Danks said. "But more than that, my fastball command wasn't anywhere near where I'd like it to be. I'm going to chalk it up to one of those days, I hope so at least, and go from here. All the way around it just wasn't nearly as sharp as I'd like to be."
After going more than a year without pitching in the major leagues, rusty days are going to be unavoidable, but Danks has never made that a part of his thought process.
"It's still a process in getting back, but like I said from the very beginning, when I'm taking the mound out there it's because I feel like I'm giving us a chance to win," Danks said. "I'm not a guy that's going to make any excuses and today is certainly not a day I'm going to make an excuse. I felt fine going into the game, just didn't pitch well and we'll go get 'em in Seattle."
Danks is scheduled to take the mound again Monday when the White Sox face the Mariners. He intends on being more like the pitcher who went a solid six innings in his return last week against the Miami Marlins.
"When a guy hits a couple of homers, anything can look worse than it actually is," manager Robin Ventura said. "It was just one of those where he wasn't walking guys all over the place, just one guy got him."
After left fielder Dayan Viciedo misplayed a ball on the warning track in left field in the first inning, the Cubs offense was off and running. The first run of the day was unearned. After that, the Cubs more than earned their second rout of the White Sox in three days.
"It needs to be caught and (Viciedo) knows that," Ventura said.
But this wasn't a day to blame the defense.
Danks' outing came on the same field where he made his last start of 2012, but that obscure note was far off his radar screen.
"It didn't even cross my mind, it just kind of happened that way that it was my last game," Danks said. "I think my game against the Marlins last week was my comeback. Now it's time to go out and win ballgames. I didn't do the job today and that's what's burning me now."