For one of the few times in his 13-year career, Adam Dunn said he was speechless Sunday to describe the White Sox's offensive futility.

Pitcher Jake Peavy, meanwhile, asked to describe the Sox's state of woe, said: "You can't make this (stuff) up."

All the Sox (28-38) have left is hope after a 5-4 loss to the Astros that extended their losing streak to four games and dropped them 10 games below .500 for the first time since May 7, 2011.

And there's not much to look forward to in the final seven games of this trip after the Sox lost for the 12th time in their last 13 road games.

Their 9 1/2-game deficit behind the Tigers in the American League Central could put opposing scouts, who watched them for the first two months as part of their regular coverage, into accelerated trade mode.

Several teams, including the Giants and Phillies, have sent numerous scouts to watch the Sox on multiple occasions. And it's no secret the Sox have several assets, such as relievers Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton, that could attract postseason contenders should the Sox elect to look to the distant future.

Neither Crain nor Thornton would give in yet to the possibility of changes.

"All we can do is take it one at a time," Crain said before hosting a team barbecue at his Houston-area home. "Get yourself ready. You can't look too far ahead and not behind either."

Thornton, who allowed a two-run home run to Jason Castro in the seventh that hit the left-field foul pole, concurred with Crain.

"You take care of your business and do what you need to do," Thornton said. "You come in with a good attitude. You can't come in complaining about the day before. You're going to be miserable if you do that."

Manager Robin Ventura, who watched his offense not put a runner in scoring position until the sixth — and then watched Alejandro De Aza strike out and Alexei Ramirez hit a checked-swing grounder to the mound with the bases loaded in a one-run game — refused to elaborate on the latest missed chances.