CHICAGO -- Home wasn't so sweet for the White Sox, so now they're hoping life on the road treats them a little better.
Angels starter Dan Haren held down the slumping White Sox offense as Los Angeles completed a three-game sweep of Chicago with a 4-2 win before 23,458 at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox, who entered the game second in the American League in runs per game, scored just seven runs the three-game weekend series against Los Angeles.
"We were in most of the games," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "We were one shot away, but we didn't get it.
"We're struggling with the bat right now. Hopefully, leaving Chicago, [going on a] long road trip, those guys can swing the bat like they can."
Still, the White Sox needed just one big hit to send their fans home happy, loading the bases against Angels closer Jordan Walden in the ninth inning. However, Walden got Juan Pierre on a flyout to left to end the game.
"We're not in any panic mode," said White Sox slugger Adam Dunn. "We know what we're capable of doing. Seems like we were all hot at one time and now we're all slumping at one time."
With the loss, the White Sox finished a disappointing 4-6 homestand and have dropped their last four games. They now depart for a three-city, 11-game trip against Tampa Bay, Detroit and New York. The loss also marked the first time the Angels have swept the White Sox in Chicago since September 2005.
For 6 1/3 innings, the White Sox could not solve the red-hot Haren. Commanding every pitch in his wide repertoire, Haren held the Sox to seven hits and two seventh-inning runs. The White Sox did not draw a walk off Haren and struck out six times. Haren, who joined teammate Jered Weaver as baseball's only four-game winners, saw his minuscule ERA actually rise to 1.16.
"We are facing pretty good pitchers," said Guillen. "We battled very well. Today, we were just one hit away. That happens when you struggle."
The White Sox finally got to Haren as the righty approached and surpassed the 100-pitch mark in the seventh. Carlos Quentin, who entered in the midst of a 5-of-32 slump, clubbed a Haren fastball off the top of the fence in center field for a double. Alex Rios then hit a grounder into the hole at short, which Maicer Izturis flagged down, but he was unable to throw out Rios at first. A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez broke through with back-to-back singles, scoring Quentin and Rios.
"Our guys battled back, scored a couple of runs and made it interesting," said White Sox starter Mark Buehrle.
More importantly, they chased Haren from the game. Angels manager Mike Scioscia summoned lefty Hisanori Takahashi from the bullpen to face Omar Vizquel with one out and two runners on. After Vizquel flied out to right, Scioscia popped back out of the dugout to bring in righty Francisco Rodriguez, who induced Pierre to hit into a force, ending the threat and keeping Haren in line for the win.
"That's probably the best lineup we've faced," Haren said. "They made a push at the end, but we closed it out."
The first three hitters in the White Sox lineup went a collective 0-for-13 with five strikeouts. That included an 0-for-4 showing from Dunn, who struck out three times and saw his average fall to .182.
"It's weird. I don't feel bad," said Dunn. "I feel fine, I just stink. I have no reason for it. I looked at film, and I'm swinging at a bad pitch at the wrong time and taking the right one. I'm not worried. I know it'll come around. Hopefully it's tomorrow."
It was death by a thousand blows for Buehrle, who gave up single tallies to Los Angeles in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings. Leadoff hitter Izturis, who had three hits off the White Sox lefty, doubled to begin the game. He went to third on Howard Kendrick's single and scored on Torii Hunter's sacrifice fly to right.
"You want to stay out of that big inning and away from that crooked number," said Buehrle. "Going out there and giving up one run an inning, obviously you don't want to do it every time, but any time you go out and give up two, three, four runs an inning, that's what's tough to come back from."
That's pretty much how it went for Buehrle, who scattered four runs and 10 hits over seven innings. The Angels got another double from Izturis in the third and scored on a two-bagger by Bobby Abreu. In the fourth, Mark Trumbo hit a Buehrle changeup 377 feet into the Angels' bullpen in right.
"When you haven't faced a guy, you try to stay ready for anything," Trumbo said. "He stayed away, and the ball I hit was middle away, a two-seam fastball, I think. I hit it pretty good, and it gave us a run against a quality pitcher."
In the sixth, Vernon Wells tripled off the top of the wall and scored on Alberto Callaspo's single. Wells' blow spurred a replay review by the umpire crew to determine if the ball had actually left the park, but after a few minutes, the call was upheld.
"When you go up against tough pitching, I don't care how good of a team you are, you've got to battle," said Buehrle. "On my end, I've got to do a better job of getting outs. Seems like I'd get two quick outs, then I'd get in a little trouble and they'd score a run."
The four runs were plenty of punch for the Angels, especially given the continued struggles of the once-smoldering White Sox offense.
"Buehrle pitched good," said Guillen. "He pitched like he always does. He went out there and threw strikes."
Buehrle noted that the quality of pitching the White Sox are facing has made the margin for error a little smaller.
"Any time you run into [Jered] Weaver and Haren in two out of three games, that's a tough task," said Buehrle. "I got us in a hole today and facing a guy like that, it's just tough to battle back."
Other than a couple of days, game-time temperatures in Chicago were generally in 30s and 40s during the homestand. However, Buehrle took little solace from the fact that Chicago will move to milder climates during its road journeys.
"Obviously we'd like to be at home, hopefully with the weather nicer," said Buehrle. "First couple of games [away] will be nice, but it's going to be a long road trip. Hopefully we can play good and get back home."
Dunn agreed, adding that the White Sox need to focus on the big picture.
"I love playing at home," Dunn said. "That's why the call it home and home-field advantage. We just weren't able to take advantage of that. It's going to be a tough stretch because playing on the road isn't easy. Hopefully, we have a safe flight and land and get back on it tomorrow.
"Those guys pitching have to make a living, too. They just happen to be pretty good. Every team every year is going to go through something like this."
Bradford Doolittle is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.