HOUSTON — Manager Robin Ventura’s patience continues to be stretched as the Chicago White Sox extended their losing streak to four games Sunday following a 5-4 loss at Houston.
The Sox lost for the 12th time in their past 13 road games as they fell to a season-high 9 1/2 games behind Detroit in the American League Central. This marked the first time the Sox (28-38) are 10 games under .500 since May 7, 2011.
Hector Santiago walked two batters to load the bases in the second, and Matt Dominguez smacked a breaking pitch down the left field line for a three-run double.
In the seventh, Jason Castro hit a two-run opposite-field home run off Matt Thornton that struck the left field foul pole. The homer came after the Sox loaded the bases with one out but Alejandro De Aza struck out and Alexei Ramirez hit a checked-swing grounder back to the mound for the final out.
The Sox closed the gap to 5-4 on a two-run home run by De Aza with two out in the ninth, but Ramirez grounded to short to end the game.
Dayan Viciedo, who was 6-for-57, was robbed of extra bases in the second when center fielder Brian Barnes made a diving catch before landing on his face on the knoll known as “Tal’s Hill” named after former Astros general manager Tal Smith.
Viciedo was moved to the fifth spot, with Adam Dunn dropping to sixth. Viciedo hit a triple in the seventh and scored on a single by Jeff Keppinger.
“You move people around and see what happens, but eventually the game catches up to you,” Ventura said before the game. “Numbers do matter, and you start moving people around whether it’s here, whether it’s down, whether it’s in (Triple-A) Charlotte. “Those things come up. We’re trying to win games, we’re trying to put the right people in the right spots.”
The Sox didn’t place a runner in scoring position against Dallas Keuchel until De Aza led off the sixth with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ramirez.