In losing 2-1 to the Cubs Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox dropped their fifth consecutive series. They also dropped out of first place for the first time since the morning of Tuesday, May 29, ending their uninterrupted reign atop the AL Central at three weeks.
Jake Peavy threw a complete game, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk with five strikeouts. Only one of the runs was earned, though, as Orlando Hudson's throwing error in the second sparked the Cubs' lone scoring rally of the inning. A few bad bounces later, and the visitors had their only tallies of the game.
After the Cubs' runs scored, Peavy wound up retiring 16 consecutive batters until Tony Campana singled in the eighth -- after which Peavy promptly picked him off. He then pitched over a leadoff triple in the ninth, holding the Cubs at bay.
Hudson struggled again Tuesday, going 0-4 with the error and four runners left on base. Third base has been an issue for the White Sox all season, but don't expect someone outside the organization to swoop in and save the position.
"Everybody can pinpoint little areas they'd like it to improve, but it has to improve with what we got," manager Robin Ventura said before the game. "It's not coming from anywhere else."
For now, the White Sox are sticking with Hudson, Eduardo Escobar and Brent Lillibridge at third base. They hope that trio will stick until Brent Morel is ready to return, although there's no timetable for the incumbent starter as he recovers from a lower back injury.
But the Sox offensive issues were hardly confined to third base. The Sox scored their lone run and loaded the bases in the second, as Cubs starter Travis Wood struggled to locate his pitches. But after Hudson popped out, Alejandro De Aza struck out, ending the threat.
The Sox put runners on first and second for Paul Konerko in the eighth, but the Sox captain flew out to right on the first pitch he saw from Manny Corpas. The scoring threat ended meekly as Alex Rios grounded out to end the frame. Carlos Marmol only walked A.J. Pierzynski in the ninth to record the save in front of just over 30,000 fans.
It was the second straight tough-luck loss for Peavy, who threw seven innings of one-run ball June 13 in St. Louis. The Sox wound up losing 1-0 to the Cardinals that night.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a walk-off home run for Cleveland -- off Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman, no less -- and Detroit downed St. Louis. The Sox are now a half-game behind the Indians and just 1 12 games ahed of Detroit in the AL Central.