CHICAGO -- Ten White Sox losses over the last 11 games played at U.S. Cellular Field, including Monday's 4-0 shutout for the Rangers and starter Colby Lewis, have manager Ozzie Guillen looking for quick solutions to this major problem.
Guillen provided one idea following the two-hour, 39-minute contest to open this seven-game homestand, albeit a sarcastic one. The White Sox manager suggested playing home games under a road-game setup.
"I was just talking with [bench coach] Joey [Cora]," Guillen said. "I think we might put those guys in a hotel here and make them dress at 2:30, bus at 1:30 and another bus at 4. And come back here and hopefully we do something different."
Putting together three straight series victories on the dreaded West Coast run through Seattle, Anaheim and Oakland left the White Sox faithful thinking this six-week, season-opening funk slowly was coming to a close for the South Siders. Lewis (4-4) put some doubts right back in their minds, needing 110 pitches to cover his third career complete game and first shutout, allowing four singles and Alexei Ramirez's leadoff double in the ninth.
The White Sox (17-25) fanned seven times and managed just one walk, with the fifth inning standing as the lone frame they had more than one runner on base. It took the White Sox until A.J. Pierzynski's single to right with one out in the fifth to pick up their first hit off Lewis, who is 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA in his last four starts.
"The White Sox have a lot of talent up and down the lineup," said Rangers designated hitter Michael Young, who had two hits and picked up his 31st RBI. "For Colby to come out in their ballpark tonight with that kind of effort was big for us."
"He threw a lot of strikes, changed speeds," said Guillen of Lewis. "That's why I keep saying, pitchers who throw strikes always are going to have a chance to win in the big leagues. We have been swinging the bat pretty good the last couple of weeks, and today we just got shut down."
During the nine-game road trip, the White Sox battled against the likes of Seattle's Felix Hernandez and defeated Oakland's Trevor Cahill, with the offense producing a .293 average with 39 runs scored. In their last three home games, which includes Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano's no-hitter, the White Sox are hitting .133 (11-for-83) with two runs scored.
That lack of support was nothing new for White Sox starter Edwin Jackson (3-5). In five of his nine starts this season, the White Sox have not scored while Jackson was in the game.
Not starting a game since last Monday in Anaheim did allow Jackson to carry his pitch count up to 111 before departing with one out in the sixth. But as much as Jackson battled, he just didn't have a good mound rhythm.
Texas (22-19) knocked out 11 hits and drew three walks off Jackson, who struck out six. Yet, the Rangers only managed to push across two runs in the third and then two more in the sixth.
"Today was just one of those days where you battle," said Jackson, who is 1-5 with a 5.35 ERA over his last six starts. "You go out and you don't necessarily have your best stuff, but you continue to come at them and keep the game in striking distance.
"[Jackson] has great ability, a great slider," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was erratic a little bit tonight with his command and we were able to get his pitch count up a little bit. He's a quality pitcher. Any time you can get anything off him, you've got to be happy."
While Jackson needed 33 pitches to get through the third inning alone, Lewis used 36 pitches to work three innings. Young doubled home the game's first run, after Endy Chavez singled and swiped second base, marking one of three stolen bases on the game against the White Sox. Adrian Beltre singled home Young.
After Jackson stranded the bases loaded in the fifth, Chavez reached on a bunt single with one out in the sixth, Elvis Andrus singled to left and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Ian Kinsler followed with a single to center, scoring two and ending Jackson's evening.
Pierzynski knocked out two of the five hits. Alex Rios' long fly out to left after Pierzynski's two-out single in the seventh might have been the closest the White Sox came to scoring.
"We just got off on the wrong foot right from the get-go," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said. "Their guy threw well and we were kind of flat offensively. He did what you want to do. He just kind of came at us and threw breaking balls in spots where he needed to, but for the most part, located his fastball where he needed to, and that was that."
Tuesday's game with the Rangers concludes this two-game set, followed by a two-game series with the American League Central-leading Indians and their 10-game lead over the White Sox. The Dodgers finish the home stretch and begin Interleague play this weekend.
Cleveland lost two of three to the White Sox during the season-opening series at Progressive Field. Fortunes have turned for both teams since, especially when factoring in the White Sox home woes, where trying to do too much has slowed them down.
"I am surprised we have been playing the way we have here," said Ramirez, through translator Jackson Miranda. "It has always been the reverse. What we need is to talk and work on what we need to do and start tomorrow like it's Day 1."