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White Sox's shake-up fails to produce
Luis Terrero contributed instantly Tuesday night in his White Sox debut.
Unfortunately for the Sox, there were hardly any other offensive contributions in a 5-2 loss to the Mariners, their third consecutive defeat.
"Can you hit?" manager Ozzie Guillen asked a reporter after the game.
The Sox were limited to four hits and never put a runner in scoring position. They ended April ranked last in the American League with a .220 mark in that situation.
"With all respect, everyone who pitches against the White Sox right now looks like Cy Young," Guillen said. "That's the truth. [Jarrod] Washburn threw well, but we didn't swing good. ... It's hard to win when you get four hits every day."
Terrero was promoted from Triple-A Charlotte, despite his .231 batting average, because of his speed and ability to play all three outfield positions.
The homer was Terrero's first in the majors since July 25, 2006, with Baltimore and his 10th in 435 major-league at-bats.
In the bottom of the sixth, with the Seattle on the verge of putting the game out of reach, Terrero came up with another heads-up play.
With runners at first and third, slugger Richie Sexson launched a drive toward the center-field warning track.
Terrero made the catch and quickly threw back to the infield as Adrian Beltre tagged from third. Shortstop Juan Uribe took Terrero's throw and quickly threw to second, where Tadahito Iguchi applied the tag on a sliding Raul Ibanez, who was tagging up from first.
Home plate umpire Tim Timmons immediately ruled the third out was made at second before Beltre crossed home plate.
The ruling proved to be important because A.J. Pierzynski pulled a 2-2 pitch from Washburn that struck the right-field foul pole in the seventh to close the Sox's deficit to 3-2.
After being robbed of a hit by shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt in the second, Pierzynski hit a single in the fourth to snap an 0-for-8 lifetime mark against Washburn.
Guillen wanted to give Pierzynski a rest but changed his mind because he didn't want to field a lineup that featured Pablo Ozuna, Terrero and rookie backup catcher Gustavo Molina, who has started in only three major-league games.
The Sox pondered briefly the possibility of activating backup catcher Toby Hall and using him solely as a designated hitter while he recovers from a torn right labrum. But Hall made 20 throws from home plate to second base at considerably less than full strength.
Nevertheless, the Sox's lineup featured Jermaine Dye in the third spot for the first time this season because of Jim Thome's rib cage injury and Juan Uribe batting seventh for the second time. Terrero started in place of Darin Erstad, whom Guillen planned to rest.
Erstad appeared as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and struck out against reliever Brandon Morrow, the fifth overall selection in the 2006 draft.
Morrow displayed a 97-m.p.h. fastball for a disputed called third strike on Dye with the tying run at first to end the eighth.
The primary victim of the lack of offense was starter Javier Vazquez, whose only blemish was a three-run fourth highlighted by Sexson's two-run homer.
"When you're not doing well as a club offensively, it feels like a lot of people start looking at each like 'What's going on here?' rather than just swing and have fun and take every at-bat the right way," Guillen said. "That's all you can do.
"I'm not going to say we've been lucky. We've been grateful the way we are right now (12-12), the way we're hitting. It should be pretty ugly. But I have faith and confidence in them and that we can come out of the shell."