Whenever the White Sox were in a bad stretch earlier in the season -- and there were plenty of them -- manager Robin Ventura never admitted his players were touching rock bottom.
"It can always get worse," Ventura said on multiple occasions.
Yes it can.
Not only did the Sox lose their eighth straight game -- 7-4 to the Mariners in Seattle on Tuesday night -- starting pitcher Jake Peavy had to make an early exit with rib pain in his left side. X-rays were reportedly negative, and there is no fracture. Peavy is scheduled to have an MRI Wednesday morning in Seattle.
Peavy seemed to be in obvious discomfort in the dugout after the second inning, but he came back out for the third, yielding a leadoff single to Jason Bay.
Kendry Morales' one-out double moved Bay to third, and Raul Ibanez followed with another double that scored Bay and Morales, putting Seattle in front 5-2.
That was it for Peavy, who has been lacking the usual zip on his fastball while allowing 12 runs on 15 hits in 61⁄3 innings over his past two starts.
John Danks hasn't been sharp (0-2, 5.06 ERA) in 3 starts since coming off the disabled list after missing a year with a shoulder injury that required surgery.
Hector Santiago moved from the rotation back to the bullpen when Danks returned, and the left-hander would likely return to starting if Peavy is out for an extended period.
It's seemingly been one round of bad news after the other for the White Sox all season, and there are still 106 games left on the schedule.
The offense has been at the negative forefront from Day 1, and the Sox are still scuffling to score runs.
Ventura made a slight lineup change in Monday's 4-2 loss to the Mariners, dropping Adam Dunn down to the No. 6 spot.
On Tuesday, Ventura made much bigger alterations.
In his second game back after missing almost two months with a fractured left hamate bone, Gordon Beckham was moved from ninth to second. Conor Gillaspie hit third, followed by Alex Rios in the cleanup spot, Paul Konerko, Dunn, Alexei Ramirez, Jordan Danks and Tyler Flowers in the No. 9 hole.
"It's possible," Ventura told reporters when asked if he might stick with the lineup changes. "We are in the business of trying to win games. So if it works, I'm sure there's probably more opportunities for someone in there."
There haven been few, if any, complaints from the lengthy list of slumping White Sox hitters.
"If you're feeling sorry for yourself, there's not a spot for you in the lineup," Ventura said. "It's not easy for anybody, but if you don't have the attitude of coming in here, ready to play and get after it, then there's bigger problems."
The Sox took the early lead against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez in the first inning when leadoff man Alejandro De Aza scored from third base on Gillaspie's groundout.
In the second inning, Dunn hit a solo home run, the White Sox' first since May 26 against the Marlins.