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Sox slump even extends to Sale, Quintana starts

Chicago falls to 0-8 in last eight games when top 2 hurlers are on hill
MLB.com @scottmerkin

DETROIT -- The numbers certainly don't lie where the White Sox last month of action is concerned.

Detroit's 5-2 victory on Sunday at Comerica Park completed a 2-7 road trip for Robin Ventura's crew. Unfortunately, that total represents a small part of the struggles.

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DETROIT -- The numbers certainly don't lie where the White Sox last month of action is concerned.

Detroit's 5-2 victory on Sunday at Comerica Park completed a 2-7 road trip for Robin Ventura's crew. Unfortunately, that total represents a small part of the struggles.

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The White Sox have a 2-10 record in their last 12 games, and a 6-18 ledger over the last 24, moving from 23-10 on May 9 to 29-28 as the club moves into a much-needed scheduled day off.

Of greatest concern is that the Sox have lost nine straight against American League Central opponents and are almost inexplicably 0-8 during the last eight games started by All-Star candidates Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.

But while it may sound like a platitude or a tired cliché from a losing team, the White Sox have not lost their confidence. They still feel this four-team division race will include the South Siders right to the finish.

"Yes sir," said Quintana after suffering his fifth straight loss and dropping to an unrepresentative 5-6 on the season. "We have good guys here, a lot of talent."

"I don't think there is going to be a team that takes off," White Sox catcher Alex Avila said. "When you look at all four teams that are in it, all four teams to this point in the season have played really, really good baseball at one point, and at times they've played really, really bad baseball."

That "really, really bad" baseball has taken place now for the White Sox. Their offense has produced three runs or fewer in 12 games during this 6-18 stretch, with Chicago dropping to 8-20 on the season when finishing with that output.

There's also a shorthanded factor engaged during the last part of this road trip. Melky Cabrera was placed on the family emergency leave list and missed the entire Tigers series, while Austin Jackson has not played over the past six games due to turf toe in his left foot.

Factor in the bullpen still not operating at full strength on Sunday, per Ventura, and the White Sox winning ways would be helped by a few more able bodies.

"Get healthy first, that's the thing," Ventura said. "You get Melky back. Hopefully our bullpen will be able to right itself with the guys we have that you are able to line those guys back up and get a lead and hold onto it."

Washington comes to town for a three-game series starting Tuesday, with James Shields making his Chicago debut Wednesday. Then it's nine straight against AL Central contenders, a time where the Sox can ill afford to continue this precipitous drop.

"It is a tough stretch, but there's no way to go but up," Ventura said. "Right now, you take this blow and you gotta push back at some point and you get a day off and go ahead and regroup."

"My best guess is it will be like this throughout the course of the season, where everybody will be within a few games of each other," Avila said. "And whatever team finds that consistency toward the end of the season will be the one that comes out of it."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox