White Sox-Mariners Preview
Giving the ball to John Danks may also help.
With Paul Konerko expected back in the lineup, Danks and the White Sox look to continuing their dominance of the Mariners in the opener of this three-game series Monday night.
Chicago (24-30) has lost seven in a row on the road for the first time since a nine-game skid from May 30-June 22, 2008. The current slide is also part of six-game overall losing streak, and the White Sox haven't had a longer won since dropping seven straight from Sept. 11-17, 2011.
Their recent struggles continued as they were outscored 9-3 during a three-game sweep at Oakland, capped with a 2-0 defeat Sunday.
"Any time you lose, you feel like energy is part of it," manager Robin Ventura told the team's official website. "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."
The White Sox haven't had many issues when facing Seattle (24-33) - winning 26 of the past 31 games over the past three years - including two of three at home from April 5-7. They're 10-2 in their last 12 games at Safeco Field, winning eight straight behind a 1.73 ERA and .292 average.
Danks (0-1, 5.40 ERA) has played a key role, going 7-0 with a 1.31 ERA in eight starts versus the Mariners, including a 4-0 record in five visits to Seattle.
The veteran left-hander hasn't been sharp in two starts since returning from shoulder surgery. He lost the most recent one Wednesday, giving up four runs and two homers in four innings of a 9-3 road defeat to the Chicago Cubs.
"The fastball isn't quite where it was," Danks told the team's official website. "It's plenty, but it's not quite where it was. I anticipate that getting better. The more velocity I get, the better it makes my changeup and cutter."
Konerko may be looking forward to visiting Safeco after sitting out one game with a stiff neck. He's hitting .434 over his last 13 games there and owns a .381 average in 30 overall meetings with the Mariners.
The six-time All-Star enters this series 10 for 27 (.370) in eight games, raising his season average 23 points to .240.
Gordon Beckham may also be back in the lineup after Chicago activated him from the disabled list on Sunday. The second baseman was 6 for 19 through the first seven games before suffering a fractured hamate bone in his left hand on April 9 at Washington.
His return could mean the White Sox will have to find somewhere else to put Jeff Keppinger, who has filled in at second and is hitting .386 over the past 13 games.
The Mariners have dropped 12 of 16 after being held to five singles in Sunday's 10-0 loss at Minnesota.
Joe Saunders (3-5, 5.57) is expected to get the ball, and he's 9-1 with a 2.23 ERA in 14 starts at Safeco. The left-hander is 3-1 with a 2.41 ERA in five games at Seattle this year compared to 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA in six road outings.
Saunders has lost his last two starts against Chicago, allowing 12 runs in 11 innings.
Kendrys Morales is hitting .411 with seven doubles, three homers and 14 RBIs in 13 games, and he has a .444 average over his last 10 meetings with Chicago. However, he's 1 for 9 versus Danks.