The Chicago White Sox hope to salvage what has been a dismal road trip on Monday, as they open a three-game set with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
The White Sox have lost seven straight road games for the first time since the 2008 season, and they have dropped a season-high six in a row overall.
They are coming off a three-game sweep in Oakland, which included shutout losses in two of the three games. On Sunday, the White Sox managed a mere three hits in a 2-0 loss. Starter Chris Sale had his scoreless innings streak end at 28 when he gave up a run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
"Any time you lose, you feel like energy is part of it," manager Robin Ventura said. "It can zap you when you go through stretches like this. You have to find a way to get it. Winning, there seems to always be energy in winning. You have to have it even if you go through a tough stretch, too."
Seattle is looking to get back on track after losing two straight at Minnesota over the weekend. The Twins took Sunday's series finale, 10-0, behind a 16-5 differential in the hits column. Seattle starter Jeremy Bonderman was tagged for seven earned runs as he served up three of Minnesota's four home runs on the day.
The M's will give the ball for Monday's series opener to Joe Saunders, who boasts a 2.41 ERA at home this season, compared to 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA in six road starts. However, Saunders is coming off an encouraging outing at San Diego on Wednesday, when he yielded only one run on four hits over seven innings.
"I just needed a little kick in the butt, really," Saunders said. "I just said, 'Hey, you know you're better than this.' The other games on the road this year haven't been good. In my mind, they were fluky, but hey, you can't make flukes into professional games. You've got to put up or shut up, really. I just had to go out and get the job done."
Meanwhile, the White Sox will turn to John Danks, who is making his third start of 2013 since returning from arthroscopic season-ending shoulder surgery last August. He lasted only four innings against the Cubs on Wednesday after serving up a pair of home runs. Danks is trying to adjust to life without the plus-fastball he had prior to the shoulder injury.
"I think there's some part of his game that he's going to have to change coming back from the injury he's had," Ventura said. "He's still going to have to throw his change-up and cutter to get people out. It becomes more of a comfort thing."
Chicago has dominated the head-to-head series of late, winning 26 of the last 31 meetings over the past three-plus years, including two of three from April 5-7. The White Sox have won eight straight at Safeco Field.