Rainout comes at poor time for White Sox

CHICAGO -- Did White Sox manager Robin Ventura accidentally break a mirror at the end of spring training and not tell anyone about it?

There isn't much other explanation why everything seems to be going against the Chicagoans these days.

The most recent incident of bad luck for the White Sox was the postponement of Tuesday's scheduled night game against the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field due to a driving rainstorm that began in the morning and would not let up.

No makeup date has been announced, making it the second home game the White Sox have postponed in the last five (last Friday's contest vs. the Minnesota Twins also was not played due to cold weather, with no makeup date yet).

But weather is probably the least of Ventura's concern right now. Rather, he's trying to figure out some way to light a fire under his struggling team.

With Monday's 3-2 loss to the Indians, the White Sox have dropped to 7-12, including having lost their last four games and 10 of their last 13, their worst season start since 2001.


"You work on all of it and do it, it's just you have to execute it," Ventura said. "Until we clean it up and get consistent with it, it's hard to win a lot when you keep giving opportunities away."

The White Sox held a 2-1 lead heading into the top of the eighth inning thanks to a strong seven-inning outing from starting pitcher Dylan Axelrod, who allowed just one run on three hits in six innings.

But then the roof caved in. Reliever Matt Thornton allowed two runs -- one unearned due to a throwing error by Thornton trying to pick off a runner at second, with the ball bouncing into center field -- capped off with a two-run single by Asdrubal Cabrera.

"As far as us playing defense, you don't see this coming," Ventura said. "Every night, you're making that one mistake, and at this level, it's going to hurt every time you do it. And it can go on for a period of time, so until you clean it up, it's pretty simple."

Thornton earned the loss (0-1), while Axelrod did not figure in the decision, which is a shame because of the effective outing he had.

"We're in a tough time right now, but we've been in games and it's going to turn around," Axelrod said.

Added Thornton, "If we've been winning games, it doesn't hurt as much and stuff. But when you have a string of losses going together and you make a mistake like that (his throwing error), it costs you the game. So, it's frustrating and disappointing, but we move on and get ready for tomorrow."

As bad as the White Sox pitching and defense has been, even worse is White Sox bats are seemingly in hibernation.

The White Sox are last in the American League with a .170 average for runners in scoring position (17 of 104), including 0 for 10 in their last four games.

It gets worst: The White Sox are 11th in the A.L. in slugging percentage (.380), 13th in batting average (.229), 14th in OPS (.651), tied for last in runs scored (63), and last in on-base percentage (.271) and walks (35).

In the current four-game losing streak, the Sox are hitting .161 (20 of 124) with just seven runs scored in that time.

Power hitter Adam Dunn has little power of late: he's 2 of 45 (.044) in his last 11 games, with just a double and home run, a solo effort that came in Monday's game and snapped a 0-for-31 hitless stretch.

The news was a bit better for second baseman Jeff Keppinger, who came into Monday's game batting 0-for-24 before finally reaching base on a single in the first inning.

"We're a little upset, but we have to put it behind and come every day positive and ready to work, prepare for every game," said White Sox catcher Hector Gimenez. "I feel we're going to start winning some games."

NOTES: Wednesday's final game of the series is an afternoon contest, with Tuesday's scheduled starters being pushed back one day. It'll be Cleveland's Zach McAllister (1-2, 3.12) facing Chicago's Jose Quintana (1-0, 2.55. ... Corey Kluber, who was originally scheduled to start Wednesday, will instead work in a long reliever role over the next few years, said Indians manager Terry Francona said, who turned 54 on Monday. As for Chicago, Wednesday's originally scheduled starter, Chris Sale, will pitch in the series opener Thursday vs. Tampa. ... Here's an irony: Wednesday's game is the White Sox's annual "Weather Day." ... The Indians are now 3-1 against the White Sox thus far this season, having won two of three games during last week's series in Cleveland. ... Even though they've started the season 8-10, the Indians still have the AL Central's best road record at 6-4.