Third base coach Jeff Cox shaved his head and mustache Saturday in an effort to change the White Sox fortunes.
He would have been better off disguising himself as a Sox player during the first three weeks of the regular season.
Manager Ozzie Guillen joined the Sox faithful in wondering what happened to the patient but effective offense, the dependable pitching and the airtight defense that vaulted them to an impressive start in the American League Central.
"It's frustrating," Guillen said calmly after the Sox lost in Toronto 5-2 for their fourth consecutive setback. "All of a sudden, in one week, we forgot to hit, catch the ball, how to run the bases, how to pitch. That has happened quickly.
"[I hope they] remember how to play the game the next couple of days because we have forgotten everything about the game."
The loss dropped the 14-14 Sox to the .500 mark for the first time since April 4, and their recent play hasn't measured up to an average team.
The offense has scored six runs in the last four games and didn't get its first hit until Paul Konerko whacked the first of his two singles in the fifth. The Sox didn't get a runner in scoring position until Joe Crede hit a leadoff double in the sixth, and he was left stranded.
They have minimized rallies, as the Jermaine Dye and Carlos Quentin home runs were the team's seventh and eighth solo blasts in a row.
They went 20 innings without getting at least two hits in an inning until the eighth.
"I always say pitching sets the tone, but we're not setting the tone of the pitchers on offense," Guillen said. "The best thing we were doing was getting on base, and we're not doing it right now."
But the offense wasn't entirely to blame.
Left-hander John Danks threw 107 pitches and lasted only 42/3 innings. Reliever Octavio Dotel's walk to Rod Barajas, a .186 hitter, helped set up a three-run rally in the sixth.
Crede bobbled a grounder at third with two outs to score the first of the three runs.
"When you don't do those things, you put yourself in a hole and get the same finish," Guillen said.
"We don't do any of those baseball things well, and we're paying the price."
Pablo Ozuna will start his second game at second base Sunday against Toronto ace Roy Halladay, as Guillen is tired of not getting any production out of the position.
"I think Oney Guillen (Guillen's son who hit .122 at Advanced-Rookie Bristol last summer) has a great chance to be in the big leagues the way we play at second base," Guillen joked.
Shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who made an impressive stop to retire David Eckstein in the sixth, stressed patience.
"It's getting tough right now," he said.
"I still believe we have a really good lineup. We have to battle through this."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times