Offensive woes have taken hold of Sox

OAKLAND, Calif. -- To Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura, something didn't smell right Friday night at the O.co Coliseum when his team was shut out 3-0 by 40-year-old Oakland Athletics right-hander Bartolo Colon.

"Yeah, it stinks," Ventura said.

Ventura was talking about his slumbering offense.

"It needs to get better," he said. "If you're not scoring runs, it looks a lot worse. It just needs to get better. I don't think it's approach. When you go over offensive stuff and give them information, it's sound stuff. It's just a stretch that stinks."

The White Sox opened a three-game series against the A's after losing three straight to the Chicago Cubs. They scored a combined six runs against the Cubs before being shut out Friday for the second time in four games.

Entering the game, the White Sox were hitting .243 as a team, next to last in the American League. Now they're hitting .238.

As has happened so often this season, the White Sox wasted a strong pitching effort. Right-hander Dylan Axelrod blanked the A's for seven innings on two hits before giving up a run in the eighth on back-to-back doubles by John Jaso and Josh Reddick.

"It seems like it's kind of been a theme this year," White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn said. "Our pitching's kept us in pretty much every ballgame except a few all year, and we're just not able to get anything going offensively. … But we've got to find a way to get on base somehow, some way, and start creating things."

The White Sox had five singles off Colon, who won his second straight start since turning 40 on May 24. Not a single White Sox baserunner got past first. Alejandro De Aza lined an opposite-field single to left to lead off the game, but Colon got Alexei Ramirez to hit into a double play.

Conor Gillaspie lined a single in the third, Dunn reached on an infield single in the fourth, Jeff Keppinger had an infield single in the fifth and Paul Konerko hit a sharp single in the seventh. That was it for the White Sox attack.

"That's what he's been doing his whole career," Dunn said of Colon. "He's got two different types of fastballs. His sinker, it's one of the best in the game. When it moves like that it's tough. It's tough to get the ball in the air. He did what he's done his whole career."

Ventura gave credit where it was due.

"He's a smart pitcher," Ventura said. "If you're trying to be patient and work him, he's a strike-thrower. He gets ahead early. He has more of a medicine ball-type sinker. Guys just couldn't get underneath it and do anything with it. Even when you get a hit there's not much to it.

"The way we're swinging it offensively might have helped him out a little bit, but he's still a good pitcher and pitched a great game. I just think, right now, especially after the last three games … a pitcher can't give up a run just the way we're playing offensively."