SEATTLE -- Hours before a 4-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Monday night, Adam Dunn suggested more than talk is needed to resolve the team’s offensive woes.
Action will still be required on Tuesday.
Joe Saunders and two relievers combined on a six-hitter as Seattle handed the frustrated White Sox their seventh straight loss in front of 13,491 at Safeco Field. Saunders allowed a run over 6 1/3 innings and the White Sox continued to slump.
Frustration over a seven-game stretch in which they have scored 11 runs boiled to the surface Monday as Dunn, Paul Konerko and bench coach Mark Parent -- who was ejected -- were visibly upset over umpire Dale Scott’s strike zone.
“When you go through something like this it makes it more frustrating because you’re grinding harder and harder and if you don’t see it the same way frustrations boil over,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Both hitters and coaches have aired their grievances over the past few days as the team continues to fall further below .500.
Ventura, general manager Rick Hahn and Sox coaches have held individual meetings with players this week to emphasize the struggles are unacceptable and changes aren’t far off if results don’t improve.
As if he was channeling Ventura, Dunn, who singled in a run in the ninth off Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen, said hitters must stop talking and start producing.
“There’s only so much that can be said,” Dunn said. “I think everyone in here knows what needs to be done. It’s just not getting done.”
The lack of action continued against Saunders, who entered the game with a 5.57 ERA.
The White Sox went down in order three times in Saunders’ outing and failed to take advantage of several chances. Jeff Keppinger actually gave the club its first lead since last Sunday with a two-out RBI single in the second inning.
But the White Sox left Konerko and Alex Rios, who doubled in the fourth and sixth innings, respectively, standing at second.
The lack of production made White Sox starter John Danks susceptible to a three-run Mariners’ rally in the third. Ventura called Danks’ outing, his third since returning to the majors, his best of the season, spring training included. Danks pitched six innings and retired 11 of the last 12 he faced.
“He honestly could have gone out some more,” Ventura said. “But again, when you’re the guy who can’t give up any runs, it’s tough. We’ve just got to be able to score some runs.”
The Mariners took advantage of a series of good at-bats against Danks (0-2) in the third inning to break a 1-all tie.
Kyle Seager reached on a one-out bunt single and he scored when Alejandro De Aza misplayed the bounce on Kendrys Morales’ RBI double off the center-field fence. Raul Ibanez then waited until the 13th pitch of a showdown with Danks before he deposited a 3-2 cut-fastball into the stands in right for a two-run homer and a 4-1 lead.
“I just ran out of ideas,” Danks said. “We went hard away, soft away, hard in, soft in. I thought I had him looking in and tried to throw a cutter away and it was up a little more than I would like. He’s a good hitter and did what he was supposed to do. I felt like it was still a halfway decent pitch. I got beat and that’s the way it goes.”
Konerko, Dunn and Parent ran out of patience with Scott’s strike zone. Dunn didn’t like any of the three strikes he took in a fourth-inning at-bat as he struck out. Konerko then flipped his bat when he struck out looking in the sixth.
Parent then flipped his lid in the middle of a Keppinger at-bat in the seventh inning that ended in a called third strike.
Asked if there was a difference of opinion with Scott, Konerko agreed.
“I guess you could say that,” Konerko said. “He’s the umpire. I don’t know. I guess. What can you do?”