There was a simple explanation for Detroit's three-game sweep of the White Sox.
"We were one hit away from changing the scenario," manager Ozzie Guillen said Thursday after reliever Octavio Dotel surrendered an opposite-field home run to Miguel Cabrera with one out in the ninth inning.
The resulting 2-1 loss capped the Sox's first series sweep since they lost six consecutive games at Minnesota and Toronto six weeks ago.
"Those guys pitched well," Guillen said. "So did we, but they got the big hits and we didn't. Simple as that."
Before the Sox find ways to end their six-game road losing streak, they hope to resurrect ways to rekindle the offense that enabled them to build a cushion in the American League Central during their seven-game winning streak at U.S. Cellular Field.
"I believe in [the home-field advantage] in basketball and football, but in baseball it's a different scenario," Guillen said. "The ballpark we have is built for this type of ballclub.
"But we have to chip in and get a little better on the road. You have to win games on the road if you want to make the playoffs."
The Sox fell to 17-20 on the road after getting swept at Detroit in a three-game series for the first time since July 8-10, 2003.
They have a chance to regain some momentum in the next six games at home against Colorado and Pittsburgh.
"I don't know if we'll be that hot," starter Mark Buehrle said, referring to the Sox's 7-0 record on their recent homestand. "I don't know if we'll be that hot the rest of this year, but it will be nice to get home and get back on track."
After collecting 11 or more hits in nine consecutive games, the Sox have collected nine in their last two games combined. Thursday they wasted a fine eight-inning effort from Buehrle.
They advanced only one runner as far as second base after the second inning, but Brian Anderson grounded into an inning-ending force play in the fifth.
Still, the Sox hardly were discouraged after Thursday's loss. They've already rebounded from a six-game losing streak in early May, and from Guillen's tirade following three consecutive losses to Tampa Bay earlier this month.
"We were in every game," catcher Toby Hall said. "It's not like we came here and got stomped on. We'll take that, go back to Chicago and get after it.
"We can't wait to get back and get back on a roll."
Guillen said: "We've had a lot of ups and downs, a lot of problems off the field. We resolved that. We're not letting those problems affect the team on the field. That's what a good team does. I think that's why this team is going to be special.
"[But] I'm not going to be sitting in my office like I did last year and let things happen. If I see something on the field, I'm going to let them know right away. Not because I want to be on those guys every day, but my job is doing that."