ANAHEIM, Calif. - Say this for the White Sox' losses in the last three games. Each has had its own distinct flavor.
Or, from the Sox perspective, its own foul taste.
Wednesday's loss in Kansas City was the 1-for-12 hitting exhibition with runners in scoring position. Thursday's was the exercise in bad baserunning. And Friday's was the night of the whiff.
The Sox struck out 11 times against Angels right-hander Ervin Santana in a 6-2 loss. Santana has that kind of stuff and those kinds of nights. He fanned 10 Blue Jays, Dodgers and Tigers in starts this year, and he held the Sox to two hits in seven innings.
Santana's K display featured the 200th and 201st of Adam Dunn's season, two by Alex Rios, A.J. Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo and two more by Alejandro De Aza after De Aza led off a game with a home run for the second time in four days.
"We just got our rear ends kicked,'' said manager Robin Ventura, whose team struck out 12 times all night.
"It got a point where it looked like we weren't going to do anything [offensively].
"We just have to keep playing.''
For about one minute, De Aza's hooked liner inside the right-field foul pole looked like a good start toward building their lead to 2 ½ games on the Detroit Tigers, who were rained out against the Minnesota Twins.
Instead, the Sox lead was cut to 1 1/2 as Santana proceeded to strike out four of the next six Sox and didn't allow another hit until Alexei Ramirez's two-out single in the fifth. In between, Santana piled up nine of his strikeouts.
Jake Peavy (11-12, 3.40 ERA) was no match for Santana (8-12, 4.93). The Sox' top right-hander fell to 2-8 over his last 11 road starts, allowing five runs on eight hits in five innings. Peavy struck out three and walked two.
"Maybe when the season is over I can say this was nice,'' Peavy said when asked about surpassing 200 innings for the first time since 2007. "But it's all about wins and losses. I've got to find a way to win and help this team get to the playoffs. All that matters is finding a way to win the ultimate prize. We have to dig deep and find a way.''
De Aza's homer didn't hold up long. Kendrys Morales homered for the 21st time leading off the Angels second, and Albert Pujols blooped a single in front of De Aza in center to score Chris Iannetta (single) and Mike Trout (double) in the third for a 3-1 Angels lead.
With first base open, Peavy had the options of pitching around Pujols or walking him intentionally, but facing the left-handed hitting Morales was the alternative.
In the fourth, Torii Hunter singled in two runs to make it 5-1. Trout's 26th homer, against Brian Omogrosso in the seventh, made it 6-1.
The Sox' one glimmer of hope came in the eighth when Dunn, who has 39 homers, came up with Gordon Beckham (RBI single) and De Aza on base with two outs and the Sox trailing by four, but as the theme of the night would have it, Dunn struck out against lefty Scott Downs.
Santana is getting on a nice roll at a good time for the Angels, who are running out of time in their quest to reach the postseason after spending lavishly last off-season. In six starts going into the game, Santana was 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA.
De Aza moved into the list of all-time Sox leaders with his fourth leadoff homer of the season. Ray Durham had six in 2001 and five in 2000 and 1998, and Tim Raines had five in 1993. Sammy Sosa (1990) and Jim Morrison (1979) also had four.
Discussing the team's recent offensive woes before the game, manager Robin Ventura said, "it doesn't do you any good to think about Sunday's game on Friday unless you want to lose on Friday.
"I don't think it's hard now. I think it's easier because they realize games are important and you have to be focused on what you're doing and it's fun to play the game that night instead of thinking ahead.
"You put [the significance of games in a pennant race] in the back of your mind and play. I think if you get caught up in that, your mind can start thinking about other things than the game."