SEATTLE -- Manager Robin Ventura said last week that "it can only get worse," and he was right.
Ventura's White Sox, mired in a season-long hitting slump that is bottoming out with three shutouts over the last seven games, lost 4-2 to the Seattle Mariners on Monday night for their season-high seventh loss.
Mariners lefty Joe Saunders (4-5), who entered the game with a 5.57 ERA, allowed a run on five hits and a walk over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five. Sox starter John Danks (0-2) took the loss. Even though the Mariners are 25-33 and having hitting problems of their own, it won't get easier for the Sox during the rest of the series. Former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez (6-4, 2.38 ERA) pitches Tuesday and Hisashi Iwakuma (6-1, 2.13) pitches Wednesday.
"You never want to go on an extended losing streak,'' Danks said. "It's not for a lack of hard work or guys caring. It's just not working out. I wish I could have been the stopper tonight but we have our leader [Jake Peavy] going tomorrow. We'll see what happens.''
The Sox (24-31) had not led in a game for 56 innings before Dayan Viciedo and Jeff Keppinger teamed up to give them a 1-0 advantage in the second. Viciedo blooped a double in front of diving center fielder Michael Saunders and Keppinger singled him home.
The lead didn't last more than a few minutes, however, as Seattle tied it on an RBI single Jesus Sucre in the bottom of the second. Nick Franklin, who had singled and advanced to second on a passed ball by Sox catcherTyler Flowers, scored the tying run.
Danks got dinged up for three consecutive hits in the third, including an RBI double by Kendrys Morales and a two-run homer by Raul Ibanez to make it 4-1 Mariners. Ibanez connected on the 13th pitch of the at-bat for his 10th homer of the season.
After that, Danks retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced. Ventura said it was the best Danks has looked "as far as the ball coming out of his hand.''
"I got beat. That's the way it goes,'' Danks said.
"I feel like every time out I can win us a game if I have to and I can give my team a chance to win. There is some stuff I need to improve on but yeah, I feel like I'm making the right strides forward and it will all click one of these starts.''
The frustration is starting to show. Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko flipped their bats after strikeouts, and bench coach Mark Parent was ejected by plate umpire Dale Scott while Keppinger was batting in the seventh inning, apparently voicing displeasure over Scott's strike zone.
"I mean, he's the umpire,'' Konerko said. "What are you going to do?"
"When you go through something like this it makes it more frustrating because you're grinding harder and harder and if you don't see it the same way frustrations boil over,'' Ventura said.
The Sox had won eight games in a row in Seattle. Danks, who has made three starts this season after having shoulder surgery in August, had his streak of seven straight wins against the Mariners snapped.