Baseball / Sports

Chicago White Sox's Alejandro De Aza is out a first as Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer steps on the bag in the sixth inning on Sunday, June 22, 2014, in Minneapolis. (Jerry Holt/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)

Twins complete sweep of White Sox

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Chicago White Sox have had their ups and downs this season, but suddenly they're in a tailspin that threatens to knock them out for keeps.

After being swept in a four-game series at Target Field on Sunday with a 6-5 loss to the Twins, the Sox fell a season-low six games under .500 and seven games behind the Tigers in the American League Central.

"I feel like you guys forget sometimes that you're covering baseball," agitated center fielder Adam Eaton said.

Why's that?

"It's (bleeping) baseball," he said. "You go out there and put your best effort out there, and how it falls is how it falls. There's no magic to it. There's no right answer to it, there's no wrong answer to it.

"It's baseball. There's no rhyme or reason why a team wins 10 in a row, and no rhyme or reason why all of a sudden it's not great. You freaking take two from the Giants and you're a freaking great team? We come with the same mentality every day.

"Baseball is a funny game. It kind of is what it is."

No matter what sport the Sox were playing this weekend, or who was watching them, it was an unqualified flop.

John Danks (6-6) was ineffective from the outset and lasted only five innings, giving up a two-run lead shortly after putting the Sox in a quick 3-0 hole.

"I gave it right back and you can't blame anyone but me on this one," Danks said. "These guys did plenty to win a ballgame. I guess I got in the way of that."

After a five-run third inning, the Sox offense shut down the rest of the game. They hit a combined .130 with no runs scored from the fourth through the eighth innings of the four games, losing for the seventh straight time on the road.

"You have to keep it simple," Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You have to forget the bad stuff and think about the good stuff and go from there.

"Any time you want to sit there and pity yourself, you are going to get buried. Nobody cares. So you have to be able to pick yourself up off the mat and compete and then it works out."

The Sox have seven games left on the 11-game trip, facing strong teams in the Orioles and Blue Jays. It's time to put up or shut up.

"I definitely know we're not a bad team," Paul Konerko said. "It's just a matter of how good we can be. We're in position. Through the first three months, we haven't shot ourselves in the foot with being totally out of it. That's nice.

"But this is when teams start to make a move and start stringing some games together. Right now we're in the midst of a (four-)game losing streak. We've got to stop that, turn that around.

"But it's definitely a good group of guys. This team kind of reminds me of our 2012 team where it's all about the process of getting ready to play and playing the game. We don't seem to take the losses that hard and come back the next day ready to go.

"Those are good signs, but it's a long year. We'll see. It's still up in the air."

(c)2014 Chicago Tribune

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