Team loses games. General manager pleads patience. Manager and GM send "messages" to struggling players. Team keeps losing. Players disappear.
Welcome to the dark side of major-league baseball, and the White Sox definitely are slinking into the shadows.
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"We're not putting pressure on ourselves to do that (win), although that pressure is there," second baseman Gordon Beckham said after the Sox squandered a 3-0 lead to the A's Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field and fell 5-4 in 10 innings.
"We need to start winning some games or we might be saying bye to some people in July," Beckham continued. "Hopefully we can start winning and get a streak going."
The White Sox (25-33) are streaking, but in the wrong direction. They've lost nine of their last 10 and are playing like a team that general manager Rick Hahn is going to have to disassemble before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.
"I don't think it's in anybody's heads," said Beckham, who is 6-for-14 since coming off the disabled list Monday. "I just think it's a part of the game. I don't think anybody's worried about that, obviously. I'm just saying that's the way it goes. Hopefully we're not in that position come a month from now."
The White Sox didn't get home until early Thursday morning after Wednesday's marathon win at Seattle, which snapped an eight-game losing streak.
They jumped on Oakland starter Dan Straily for 3 runs in the third inning, but Sox starter Jose Quintana gave up solo home runs to Yoenis Cespedes in the fourth inning, another one to Cespedes in the sixth and one to Josh Reddick in the seventh.
"Quintana was very good," acting manager Mark Parent said. "He gave us what we needed. When you make mistakes, good hitters make adjustments."
In the 10th inning, Adam Rosales hit another solo homer, this one off reliever Matt Thornton (0-2), and the A's kept streaking in the right direction with their 17th win in 20 games.
In the bottom of the 10th, Adam Dunn came to the plate with Alejandro De Aza on third base and two outs.
On an 0-2 pitch from closer Grant Balfour, Dunn hit a deep drive to left field that Cespedes caught to end the game. When you're going bad, you're going bad.
"I was just trying to put something in play," Dunn said.
He did, but the ball just wasn't hit deep enough.
"We had opportunities it seemed like quite a bit during the game and couldn't capitalize on them again," Dunn said after the White Sox went 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position. "I don't think we should have been in that situation anyway. I think other than not getting a hit or two to open it up, we played pretty good. They hit some home runs. We didn't.''
Instead of worrying about Hahn becoming a seller at the deadline, Dunn chose to stay positive.
"I hope guys realize that this is a marathon and we're one, two, three weeks away from being tied, if not, right up there," Dunn said. "There should be a sense of urgency, but I'm not panicking."