Gusts of 25 m.p.h. swirled around U.S. Cellular Field, but Thursday night's storm didn't arrive until the final two innings of the White Sox's 10-3 loss to the New York Yankees.
The Sox saw a 1-1 tie end up a tough loss for starter Jose Contreras.
A.J. Pierzynski. And Alex Rodriguez punctured the bullpen with a ninth-inning grand slam off Ryan Bukvich.
"This game goes from a big-league, well-played game to a fantasy camp game," manager Ozzie Guillen said after the Sox lost their third consecutive game and 10th in their last 12. "That's the way I look at it."
There was plenty of damage to assess. The offense gave Contreras and the bullpen no margin for error as the Sox scored three runs or fewer for the seventh time in eight games and didn't score until the seventh.
They minimized their chances by failing to take the lead after singles by Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Pierzynski tied the game off Mike Mussina to start the seventh.
The bullpen yielded seven runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Contreras, who allowed one run through seven innings, was saddled with the loss after Bobby Abreu hit a two-run double off Matt Thornton in the eighth.
Despite the retooling of the bullpen that has seen three newcomers arrive in the last 12 days, Sox relievers have a 9.29 ERA over their last 26 games.
"I don't want to take the confidence away from the bullpen, but it's hard for me," Guillen said. "I don't want to second-guess myself that every time I change pitchers, I bring in the right one or not. That's the way I really feel."
Guillen opted not to use closer Bobby Jenks to start the ninth with the Sox trailing by one run, instead employing Bret Prinz. After getting the first out, Prinz allowed a single to Derek Jeter.
Boone Logan replaced Prinz and struck out Johnny Damon, but the next six batters reached base safely against Logan and Bukvich.
Rodriguez's slam was the 15th of his career, and he increased his home run total this season to a major league-leading 22.
The Yankees scored their final run on shortstop Juan Uribe's throwing error, one of three Sox miscues.
"We might have to go seven innings with [a starter] and bring in Bobby for two [innings], or someone for six and Bobby for three," Guillen said. "It's not easy to see this, day in and day out."
Frustration boiled over in the eighth after Pierzynski struck out on a high pitch against closer Mariano Rivera with the tying run at first.
Pierzynski had a few words for home plate umpire Bob Davidson and then rolled his helmet toward him as he was being ejected.
"I was frustrated," Pierzynski said. "[Davidson] was right for throwing me out. And it was just frustration from the last couple of days the way things have been going and have been building up. I lost my cool. Bob Davidson was right for throwing me out, and he should have for what I said."
The Sox (26-30) fell to a season-high nine games behind Cleveland in the American League Central with a major-league-low .233 batting average and a porous bullpen.
The lack of offense remains puzzling because the hitters carried the Sox throughout most of last year with the same core, and the bullpen was retooled with power arms.
"Maybe they weren't strengths," Pierzynski said. "I don't know. You look at guys in this lineup and you think we're going to hit. We expect to hit. Right now we're not getting it done. That's what's frustrating, the fact we think we can do it and believe we can do it and waiting for the day when it turns.
"And hopefully it will soon."
Yankees 10, White Sox 3