The way the White Sox have been hitting this season, it takes something special to shut them down.
Wednesday night, Carl Pavano was special.
"The only thing I saw were pitches on the black," Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said. "Pavano was on tonight. I don't think we wasted any bullets against him."
It was the second straight night a Marlins starting pitcher handcuffed the Sox, but unlike Tuesday, when the Florida bullpen coughed up a four-run lead, Pavano finished it himself, throwing 85 strikes out of 125 pitches.
The Sox, who had scored 55 runs in their previous six games, were shut out for the third time this season and the first since Baltimore blanked them 1-0 in the first game of a doubleheader on May 13.
The three hits were also a season low, the third time they have been held to that few.
"He was good, hitting his spots," said Lee, whose streak ended with an 0-for-4 night.
Scott Schoeneweis took the loss, his third in a row and fourth in his last five outings.
"I definitely got outpitched," Schoeneweis said after working 61/3 innings, allowing four runs and 10 hits. The 10 hits tied a season high for Schoeneweis.
"I feel I've been throwing the ball well," he said. "It's the way things go sometimes."
Florida scored all the runs it needed in the fourth inning. Luis Castillo led off with a double and Mike Lowell, who ended an 0-for-28 skid with a home run Tuesday night, drilled another homer into the left-field seats to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead.
"I thought I threw a pretty good pitch, a cutter down," Schoeneweis said.
Considering the Sox lead the American League in hitting, having the infield in so early in the game seemed like a curious move. Still, with the way Pavano was throwing, the Sox couldn't afford to fall any further behind.
"I'm not surprised [Pavano] did a great job," Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
On a pitching staff that features Josh Beckett, Brad Penney and other young guns, Pavano often is overlooked. But he has been Florida's most consistent starter this season with a 7-2 record and a 2.81 ERA.
"He would have beaten anybody tonight," Konerko said.
Schoeneweis, however, must wonder where that potent offense is when he takes the mound. Wednesday was the sixth time in his last eight starts the Sox have scored two runs or fewer when he has pitched.
"He didn't throw the ball great, but we only got three hits and one of them was his," Guillen said.
In fact, Schoeneweis was the first Sox hitter to reach base against Pavano, slashing a double down the third-base line with two outs in the third inning. It was the first extra-base hit by a Sox pitcher since James Baldwin tripled July 17, 1999, at St. Louis.
"I knew I was going to see fastballs away," Schoeneweis said. "I figured my best shot was to go with the pitch."
"[Pavano] pitched a real good game against an offense that is scoring a lot of runs," Schoeneweis said.
At least it does when Schoeneweis isn't pitching.