White Sox drop fifth straight in tough loss
Thome's late homer not enough vs. Jays in finale
TORONTO -- It's really starting to look like there is nothing the White Sox can do right these days. As the losses pile up for Chicago during an ugly stretch of recent games, manager Ozzie Guillen feels the club should feel ashamed.
"We should be embarrassed," Guillen said after the Sox dropped a 3-2 affair to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Monday. "We should feel bad, because I think we have a better ballclub than the way we've played."
Toronto swept the four-game set and sent Chicago (15-22) to its fifth straight loss. The White Sox have now dropped 12 of their past 15 games.
"It has been a crazy week," said Guillen. "I can't describe it because we lose games in different ways all the time -- late in the game, early in the game, by a lot of runs by a [few] runs. There's just so many ways we lose, that I can't describe it."
Monday's loss came in a particularly disappointing fashion. Chicago hitters displayed virtually no life until the top of the eighth inning, when Jim Thome launched a two-run home run that knotted the score at two. It was Thome's 548th career homer, which tied him with Mike Schmidt for 13th place on the all-time list.
Thome and the Sox did not get a chance to enjoy the accomplishment, because in the bottom of the inning, reliever Octavio Dotel (1-1) gave the lead right back to the Jays when he allowed an RBI triple to Alex Rios that plated the winning run.
To illustrate just the kind of luck the White Sox have had recently, the run Dotel allowed was his first of the season. Entering the game, he had tossed 12 1/3 scoreless innings of relief this year.
With Thome's home run ball resting in his locker at the visitor's clubhouse, the designated hitter was more concerned about the game's outcome than his historic accomplishment.
"It's nice to do things like that but you definitely want to win the game," Thome said. "That's No. 1.
"The bottom line is nobody likes to lose consistently," Thome added. "There's really not much to say. We should be embarrassed. We should be able to make the adjustments and hopefully we can get that done."
Thome also gave credit to the Blue Jays (27-14), who are in first place in the American League East and have scored the most runs in the Majors.
"Sometimes you come into a city like Toronto and they swing the bats well," Thome said. "Yeah, we have to turn this thing around -- we've got to do it quickly -- but also credit the team that's playing well and swinging the bats well."
Toronto's Rogers Centre is becoming a house of horrors for the Sox, who have dropped 10 straight games at the ballpark, dating back to 2007. It's the longest losing streak on the road against an opponent since the Sox lost 10 in a row in Oakland from 2001-03.
"It seems like every time we come to Toronto, we get our [expletive] kicked for some reason," said catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
Chicago scored just eight runs in the four-game series and batted .080 (2-for-23) with runners in scoring position.
"I think we've got guys at the plate just trying too hard and I'm one of them," Pierzynski said. "We're just trying to do too much. We're not staying inside of ourselves and letting the game come to us. We're trying to force the action. You almost need to take a step back and relax."
The only White Sox player who seemed relaxed in Monday's affair was starter Clayton Richard, who was making just his second start of the season, after spending most of the year in the bullpen.
The left-hander reeled off seven strong innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits.
In the second inning, Richard allowed a solo home run to Kevin Millar to give the Jays a 1-0 lead. Then, in the third inning, Marco Scutaro's drive to center field bounced off the glove of Chicago's Scott Podsednik. Scutaro reached third base on the play and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Aaron Hill to give the Jays a 2-0 lead.
"Obviously the first couple innings, he was a little bit out of sync," Pierzynski said of Richard. "But as the game went on, he got better and better. He did a great job and deserves a lot of credit. We needed to see that out of him and hopefully it gives him confidence for the next time he goes out and takes the mound."
The White Sox, meanwhile, will head back to Chicago to play the Twins on Tuesday in the opener of a six-game homestand. They must begin to play better or risk falling deeper in a hole that has left the club 5 1/2 games behind Detroit in the AL Central.
It is something the Sox have noticed.
"We have got to go back home and get on track," Thome said. "Start swinging the bats ourselves and just start winning some games."
David Singh is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.