We've seen this one before.
You know, the one where the White Sox fall behind early, and even though the pitching staff rebounds to put in a decent performance, the offense fails to pose any real threat?
This time, it was Phil Humber on the mound. He made a big mistake in the second inning, missing by an entire plate and giving John Jaso a low-and-in pitch to turn and burn on, giving the Rays a quick 2-0 lead after two.
Making matters worse, he made that mistake with two outs. That started a trend, because when the Rays scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, the run only crossed the plate after Humber had recorded two outs.
Still, the White Sox bulllpen picked up Humber by tossing 2 2/3 scoreless innings. When the pitching staff allows four runs in a game started by the sixth starter, it's hard to ask for more. Of course, outside of a Carlos Quentin solo shot, the Sox lineup left everybody wanting once more.
It's possible that a conservative Jeff Cox blocked their best scoring opportunity. Quentin drew a two-out walk off Wade Davis in the first inning, and Paul Konerko followed with a double down the right field line. Quentin was thundering around third when Cox gave him the stop sign, and Matt Joyce, who played the ball off the wall well, didn't make the best of all cut-off throws.
There would have been a play at the plate, and Quentin isn't the world's greatest slider, so there were some reasons for Cox to be reluctant to wave him in. Then again, counting on two straight two-out hits is equally risky. Davis didn't give Dunn anything to hit, issuing an easy walk, and Alex Rios lined out to deep left to end the threat.
The scoring possibilities were few and far between afterward. They had runners on first and second in the fifth, but Mark Teahen struck out swinging, and Joyce made the Rays' 84th outstanding defensive play of the series, making a leaping grab against the wall on a deep fly by Juan Pierre.
*Teahen actually came up huge with the glove, saving a run with a diving stab to his left. He double-clutched, of course, but his strong throw was right on the money to get the third out of the seventh.
*Alexei Ramirez, on the other hand, botched a routine grounder for his fifth error.
*A.J. Pierzynski was ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Brian Knight after his sixth-inning groundout.
*Not only have the White Sox lost seven straight, but they've also failed to hold a lead in any of the last 51 innings.