SEATTLE — More meetings might be in store for the White Sox after another sluggish performance Monday night.
Hours after acknowledging that manager Robin Ventura and some of his coaches met with selected hitters to correct their struggles, the Sox’s malaise continued as they fell 4-2 to the Mariners.
Their losing streak reached a season-high seven games, equaling their longest since 2011. It also marked the seventh consecutive game in which they have scored three runs or fewer.
The latest frustration was evident with sluggers Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko, who flicked their bats in disgust after being called out on strikes after stranding runners at second base to end rallies in the fourth and sixth innings.
“Some times there are no answers,” Konerko said. “All you can do is try and work and that’s it. There’s no easy answer. You just keep grinding away.”
In the seventh, bench coach Mark Parent was ejected by plate umpire Dale Scott during a Jeff Keppinger at-bat that resulted in a called third strike.
“When you go through something like this it makes it more frustrating because you’re grinding harder and harder and if you don’t see it the same way, frustrations boil over,” Ventura said.
The Sox’s 1-0 lead in the second — their first lead since beating the Marlins on May 26 — evaporated quickly as a passed ball by Tyler Flowers set up Jesus Sucre’s game-tying single, and Raul Ibanez hit a two-run homer off left-hander John Danks to cap a three-run third.
“Every game there are a few pitches you’d like back, and it seems mine have bit me in the rear more than I’d like,” Danks said.
Ibanez hit his home run on the 13th pitch of an at-bat.
“I just ran out of ideas,” Danks said. “We threw hard away, soft away, hard in, soft in and I thought I had him looking in and tried to throw a cutter away. It was up, maybe a little more than I’d like.”
The offensive woes largely responsible for the losing streak weren’t lost on Dunn and Flowers, who recently met with Ventura and staff in separate discussions.
“Yeah, we’ve had our meetings,” Dunn said before the game. “But there’s only so much that can be said. Everyone in here knows what needs to be done. It’s just not getting done.”
Ventura said the meetings were “necessary” because of the Sox’s underwhelming play.
“I’m the guy who needs to do that.”
Ventura said the effort and energy of his players is “still getting there.”
“We’re results-based, so it does get to a point numbers … will make decisions for somebody.”
The Sox are 7 1/2 weeks away from the July 31 trade deadline with plenty of quality pitching that playoff contenders seek, along with the need to get younger with Paul Konerko (37), Matt Thornton (36), Dunn (33) and Alex Rios (32) in advanced stages of their careers.
Meanwhile, Dunn and catcher Tyler Flowers, who have been involved in meetings as a result of their struggles, agreed there is a quiet sense of urgency in the clubhouse and that personalities can’t change just to show effort.
“(If you) go out and do it for show … you’re doing it for the wrong reasons,” Dunn said. “You’re doing it so the media writes about how fiery so-and-so is. I think as players, the family that we are, I think people see right through that. You are what you are. And we’ll take the good and bad. That’s what we got.
“I would think if you need somebody to chew you out to get going, that doesn’t say a lot about who you are as a person.”