MINNEAPOLIS—The most lifeless plus-.500 team in the majors resembled a piñata Tuesday night.
In losing their third consecutive game, the White Sox absorbed a series of embarrassing blows, falling 9-2 in Minnesota.
The Sox (24-23) fell to one game above .500, but that's the closest they have come to resembling an average team lately.
"We haven't put anything together here," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We're not hitting, we're not pitching and we're not catching the ball. Those kind of things you have to shut down as soon as possible."
The pitching staff has surrendered 47 hits during the losing streak, including season-highs of 16 hits in each of their previous two games.
That's the most since May 17-19, 1999, against the Indians when the staff allowed 48 hits in three games. Jim Thome had five of those hits for the Indians.
Left-handed rookie John Danks' lack of control compounded the pitching woes and Danks was pulled after 3 1/3 innings.
"The only way to describe it is that I just stunk," Danks said inside a quiet clubhouse. "What can you do? You have to move on to the next game."
It marked the shortest outing for a Sox starting pitcher since Mark Buehrle lasted only one inning April 5 after he was hit by a line drive.
But Danks was just the start of the pitching problems.
Reliever Nick Masset gave up three runs after retiring the first two batters in the fifth.
Included was a double steal by the Twins that didn't draw a throw from catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
Opponents have scored 15 of their last 21 runs against the Sox after two outs. The bullpen has allowed 45 earned runs in its last 45 1/3 innings.
The offense continued to minimize their opportunities. The Sox loaded the bases with one out in the first but managed only one run, on Paul Konerko's sacrifice fly.
The Sox put only one more runner in scoring position until the seventh, when they scored another run on a bases-loaded walk to Jermaine Dye, whose hitting streak ended at 14 games.
That rally, however, fizzled when reliever Pat Neshek induced Konerko to hit a feeble grounder to the right side of the mound for the final out.
Konerko did make a diving catch at first base to rob Morneau of a hit, but that was the only time the Sox contained the 2006 AL Most Valuable Player.
Morneau ignited a four-run rally in the second by launching a two-run home run off Danks that struck a scoreboard panel just below the upper deck and traveled an estimated 428 feet. Morneau hit a pair of doubles in his next two at-bats to cap a four-RBI performance.
Danks has allowed 10 home runs in 51 innings, and his four walks were a season-high. It was his shortest outing since lasting 4 2/3 innings in Detroit on April 20.
It also was a major contrast from his previous two games against the Twins, in which he allowed only seven hits in 12 2/3 innings.
"There wasn't really an adjustment to be made," Danks said. "When you're falling behind in the count, and whenever I got ahead, I couldn't throw the pitch I wanted to. It was a matter of command."
There were few highlights for the Sox other than Darin Erstad's leadoff single that extended his hitting streak to 13 games and Juan Uribe's infield hit that snapped an 0-for-12 slump.
There were no repercussions from Monday's game in which Pierzynski was accused of spiking Morneau.
"I see all the Twins looking and pointing to A.J.," Guillen said before the game. "That was unnecessary there, but I understand their part to be upset."