White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen joked after Monday night's 7-0 blanking by Minnesota that his short-term thinking allows him to keep his hair black.
But after Nick Swisher and Paul Konerko extended their respective slumps, Guillen intimated he will make some changes soon. Swisher, in the midst of an 0-for-13 slump, will take a temporarily break while Brian Anderson starts Tuesday night against Twins left-hander Glen Perkins. The ramifications, however, are greater for Konerko, who is 1-for-11 on the trip and had his batting average sink to .213 after an 0-for-4 performance against Kevin Slowey.
"P.K., we'll see how he does [Tuesday]," Guillen said. "And then we'll make a decision the next day against a right-hander (Livan Hernandez).
Konerko's frustrating season reached a new low in the fourth inning when he hit a checked-swing grounder back to the mound and temporarily froze.
By the time he ran down the first-base line, the Twins had completed an inning-ending double play.
If Guillen elects to sit Konerko for an extended period, the Sox could field a lineup that features Swisher at first base and Dewayne Wise and Anderson platooning in center field.
The Sox were 13-7 when Konerko was on the 15-day disabled list because of a left oblique muscle strain.
Konerko is batting .211 with three extra-base hits since returning to the lineup July 8.
"We need those guys to swing the bat well," Guillen said of Konerko and Swisher, who is batting .226. "They don't do it right now."
Neither did the rest of the Sox as their lead in the American League Central was trimmed to 11/2 games over the Twins.
The closest the Sox came to scoring was in the fourth, when Jermaine Dye's home run down the left-field line was correctly overruled and called foul after a discussion by the umpires.
Meanwhile, the Twins' young talent served as another reminder to the Sox of the benefits of a deep farm system—whether it helps by producing on the field or to acquire a more seasoned player down the stretch drive.
Center fielder Denard Span, a 2002 first-round pick, continued his rapid ascent in place of Carlos Gomez by hitting his first major league home run—a two-run shot off Mark Buehrle (8-9)—to fuel a four-run third inning. Span is batting .341 since being recalled on June 30.
Slowey, a second-round pick in 2005, allowed only two baserunners past first base as the Sox were blanked for the ninth time.
"My job is to win games in the big leagues," Guillen said. "It's all about scouts. [The Twins] scouted really well, they found good talent and brought it up together and they know how to play the game."
Meanwhile, AL All-Star first baseman Justin Morneau hit his 15th career homer against the Sox. Swisher's glove fell over the fence in a failed attempt to make a leaping catch.
"I threw a fastball down the middle, and that's what they're supposed to do," Buehrle said. "I wasn't as crisp as I've been. I could tell the first couple of innings when I got out of jams."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun