Sox running out of time to find offense

September, 23, 2012
9/23/12
7:15
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- If the Chicago White Sox had a panic button to push, they might be close to hitting it.

After losing their fifth straight game on Sunday in a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, the team stumbles back to Chicago to start their final homestand of the season.

[+] EnlargeChicago White Sox
Jayne Kamin/Oncea-US PresswireSox manager Robin Ventura meets with starting pitcher Gavin Floyd on Sunday.
Although the White Sox’s pitching has been decent, the offense continues to sputter, now having scored just eight runs in the five-game losing streak. Once again, the Sox were deficient with men in scoring position. On Sunday they were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and are 3-for-42 in their last six games.

“It was a bad weekend,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “This doesn’t mean we are out of anything. It is not fun losing but we still have a chance to take care of it ourselves.”

The Sox end the road trip with a 4-5 record as they were swept for the fourth time this season.

“We had our chances in the first inning,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “Moral victories don’t really matter at this point. Bottom line is we have to win games and whether they pitch good or not, we have to match them pitch-for-pitch.”

Gavin Floyd did precisely that for five innings before giving up a two-run double to Albert Pujols and a two-run home run to Kendrys Morales in the sixth.

“I tried to execute pitches like I did in the first five innings,” Floyd said. “I think I just missed location and they happened to get it. I walked (leadoff hitter Mike) Trout -- that certainly did not help the cause.”

Jered Weaver got the win for the Angels, his AL-leading 19th of the season, after the Sox had him on the ropes in the first inning. They loaded the bases with only one out before Alex Rios struck out on a changeup in the 11th pitch of his at-bat and Pierzynski grounded out.

“It would have been great to get off on him and get on the board,” Konerko said. “Alex had a great at-bat against him. He did nothing wrong. He just kept fouling off tough pitches, taking great swings. You know Weaver is pretty good.”

The Sox will send 17-game winner Chris Sale to the mound on Monday against the Cleveland Indians. They currently lead the Detroit Tigers by a half-game in the AL Central, but could find themselves even when they arrive home if the Tigers can beat the Twins in the second game of their Sunday doubleheader.

“We will see how it goes,” Ventura said. “As long as everyone keeps pushing we will be fine.”

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.20 198 168
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .319
HRJ. Abreu 35
RBIJ. Abreu 105
RA. Ramirez 80
OPSJ. Abreu .974
ERAC. Sale 2.20
SOC. Sale 198