The last time the Chicago White Sox lost seven straight games, they went on to win their first World Series title in 88 years. There’s seems little chance of history repeating itself for them.
The reeling White Sox look to avoid their longest losing streak in more than six years Sunday in the finale of a three-game set against the Seattle Mariners.
On Saturday, Chicago (54-68) fell into last place in the AL Central following a 7-5 loss to the Mariners (68-52). The White Sox have lost a season-high seven straight—their first such skid since Aug. 12-20, 2005, the year they won their first World Series title since 1917.
“There’s a reason to it—the way we’re playing we should be in last place,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We haven’t earned anything better than being in last place. Besides just not playing well, we’re helping the other team play better against us.”
A loss Sunday would mark the White Sox’s first eight-game losing streak since May 15-23, 2001.
Chicago led 3-0 after the four innings Saturday, but Raul Ibanez drove in a run in the fourth and Jose Guillen hit a two-run single in the fifth. Kenji Johjima followed with a tiebreaking RBI-single to spark a four-run sixth inning to put the Mariners up for good.
“In typical Mariners style, about the sixth inning they make things happen,” said starter Jeff Weaver, who allowed four runs and five hits in 7 2-3 innings for the win.
Jermaine Dye, who signed a two-year, $22 million contract extension with the White Sox on Saturday afternoon, went 0-for-4.
Seattle remained one-half game ahead of the New York Yankees in the AL wild card. The Mariners also closed within two games behind the Los Angeles Angels, who lost to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, for first place in the West.
Seattle hands the ball Sunday to Felix Hernandez (8-6, 3.86 ERA), who is looking to win his third consecutive decision. The 21-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 3.25 ERA in his last four starts, and the Mariners have won all four of those games.
Hernandez allowed just one run and four hits in six innings on Monday against the Minnesota Twins, but he did not factor in Seattle’s 4-3 win. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in three starts against the White Sox, and Seattle is 0-3 in those starts.
Jon Garland (8-8, 4.63) counters for the White Sox as he tries to help them avoid their first three-game sweep at Seattle since May 15-17, 2001.
Garland allowed four runs and six hits, including a season-high three homers, in 5 2-3 innings on Tuesday in a 4-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics. Garland fell to 2-2 with a 6.69 ERA since the All-Star break.
“It’s been frustrating,” said Garland, who was an 18-game winner each of the last two seasons. “The first half I felt I was an All-Star pitcher in my mind. In the second half, I just haven’t pitched up to par.”
The right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.59 ERA in 10 starts and one relief appearance against the Mariners. He has won his last six decisions after losing his first-ever start to them on Aug. 8, 2000.