DETROIT — The White Sox’s starting pitchers are suffering the brunt of the offense’s malaise as the club’s losing streak was extended to a season-high nine games Saturday night.
John Danks was the latest victim, as Max Scherzer limited the Sox to three hits over 72/3 innings while earning his 16th victory with a 3-0 beating of the Sox.
Danks allowed three home runs as the Sox were blanked for the 11th time, tying the Astros for the most shutouts in the American League.
The current losing streak is the Sox’s longest since 1991.
“You’re never numb to it,” said manager Robin Ventura, who played on the 1991 team. “I don’t think that’s the word. You just get frustrated and you wait for it to turn.”
Danks (2-9) accepted his responsibility despite the latest offensive woes.
“I’ve said since day one in the big leagues that I’m going to worry about what I can control and I’ll take my nine chances with those nine guys rather than me hitting,” Danks said. “There’s nothing I can do about it.”
All-Star Chris Sale, who has a 6-11 record despite a 2.92 ERA, leads the majors with the lowest run support average (2.47 runs per nine innings). Danks is third in the AL at 3.11 and left-hander Hector Santiago seventh (3.65).
Sale and Santiago have maintained their sanity despite the lack of offense when they pitch.
“You start letting outside factors outside your control get into your mind and it takes away from what you’re trying to do,” Sale said.
“We know baseball is a crazy sport. We’ve run into some tough luck. I know we’re not scratching off hits, but I feel like three or four hits a night are taken away from us with a ball taking a different hop or someone making an outstanding play.”
Santiago pointed to Friday’s night’s 2-1 loss in which the Sox were closer to changing their fortunes than the numbers indicated.
“That has been the story of the year, and we’ve been talking about it,” said Santiago, referring to double plays in the seventh and eighth. “It’s maybe the eighth time I’ve said it. We keep wishing for (a big hit) to happen, and some day it will come. It’s just the way the season is going.”
Slugger Adam Dunn remains mystified by the lack of offense.
“It really is unbelievable,” Dunn said. “I know we have guys who can hit. I know we have guys who can pitch. For us to be doing what we’re doing, there’s no excuse.”
Ventura, meanwhile, reiterated his support for hitting coach Jeff Manto.
“We all do,” Ventura said. “We’re all working hard and doing everything. It’s not like he has done anything different to make them do this or is purposely different.”