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May 2011 Archives

Jenks "regrets" how he parted ways with White Sox

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BOSTON - Bobby Jenks expressed some remorse about the way he and the White Sox parted ways. Too many good years, too many good teammates and one World Series championship overshadow anything said in the heat of feeling unwanted.

"Yeah, it's water under the bridge for me,'' Jenks said before the Sox played the Red Sox Tuesday. "I'm here with the Red Sox now and as much I enjoyed the time over there in Chicago, my focus is on this organization and this team now.''

After Jenks signed with the Red Sox during the off-season, he popped off that manager Ozzie Guillen didn't know how to handle a bullpen. Guillen's son Oney then aired some dirty laundry Jenks on his Twitter account. It was an unpleasant exchange that made Jenks and the Guillens look bad.

"Sure I regret it,'' Jenks said. "I spent a lot of time there and it was a lot of good years.''

Jenks, who hadn't pitched since May 1 because of a right biceps strain, returned from the disabled list Tuesday and pitched a scoreless eighth inning against the Sox. He gave up singles to Alexei Ramirez and Brent Lillibridge, then doubled Lillibridge off first on a comeback-liner off the bat of Paul Konerko to get out of a jam. The Sox led 10-1 at the time.

"If he wants to come to say hi, I'll open my arms for him because this kid had a big part to make me who I am,'' Guillen said. "I don't have anything against him at all. What he said, he might be right. Why not? I never said I was a great manager. I never said I handled my bullpen the best I could. But one thing, I give him the best shot ever to make the money and play in the big leagues. I was the one who give it to him. And when I give it to him, he grabbed it and did a tremendous job for us.''

Guillen said he ''loves" Jenks and understands how it felt to part ways with the Sox. Jenks downplayed the potential matchup against his old team.

"If it was any team right not I would have the same motivation because I'm coming off the DL and I want to get back to work,'' he said.

"I am not going against Ozzie, I'm going against the White Sox.

"It's going to be weird but once the game starts and once my inning is there and ready to go, it's down to business.''

Guillen said he was never angry with Jenks. He repeated what he said during the offseason, that he was saddened by Jenks' comments.

"What you say, you say and it's out there,'' Guillen said. "Were we mad at him? No. I wasn't mad at what he said. If I was mad, I'd let him know right away I was mad. I was more sad than anything else, because we treated him very well here. I think his teammates treated him well, so did we.

"Like I said, I treat him the same way I treat all my players. Maybe a little different because he was a different kind of guy. As a kid, it's a kid in a big bad body. I love Bobby. I love his family. I love Cuma [daughter] and I still remember his kid's name. That means I haven't forgot those people. They were a great family and Bobby was good for us.

"Any regrets? I don't see why. He don't say anything bad. He said the manager sucked. Well, .... yes. I don't think he should regret what [he] said. To be honest with you. A lot of people when they leave some companies or teams, obviously you feel hurt. They hurt your feelings. And you say what you have to say. But I look up his quotes, and I don't think he hurt anybody. He don't hurt my job or my feelings because I never say I was a good manager. He don't hurt my feelings because I know I can manage in this game. And in the meanwhile, he shouldn't regret anything because I don't feel any regrets about him."

Pitchers Bruney, Marquez called up by White Sox

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BOSTON -- The White Sox bolstered their pitching staff on Monday by calling up right-handers Jeff Marquez and Brian Bruney from Class AAA Charlotte.

Third baseman Dallas McPherson was designated for assignment, and right-hander Lucas Harrell was optioned back to AAA Charlotte after pitching four innings of relief in Sunday's loss in Toronto.

The Sox pitching staff stands at 13, although the Sox will probably go back to 12, most likely when utility man Mark Teahen returns from his rehab assignment.

"I would rather have an extra pitcher to make sure we take care of that department, especially when we come here against this ballclub, this ballpark,'' Guillen said of Fenway Park. "You never know what's going to happen. I try to protect our guys and hopefully we don't need them.''

Bruney was 1-0 with a 1.31 ERA at Charlotte. Marquez was 3-4 with a 3.97 ERA.

Guillen calms down after firing on media

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BOSTON -- Upset the night before with how his comments were portrayed in the media, a calm and collected Ozzie Guillen explained what set him off: The reports of his 17-minute talk with reporters, he said, portrayed him as "stupid" and "ignorant.''

Most of the reports and headlines also played up his comment about how baseball heroes are long forgotten when they're gone. During a long monologue Sunday about his passion for the Sox and his job, Guillen's reference to baseball-hero statues outside ballparks that get urinated on was taken by some as an insult of Sox fans.

"It upset me because most of my quotes ... they only pick one stuff here, one stuff there and boom,'' Guillen said before the Sox played the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Monday night.

"I talk about Mike Scoscia, about [the Angels manager's] 1,000 wins and they pick two things I say when I talk about Mike for two hours. A little thing here and there. Well, they made me feel like I'm a crazy person. I'm not a crazy person, I'm an outspoken person. I'm not crazy. I know what I say, I know what I do.''

Guillen is arguably the most entertaining manager or coach in sports because he openly shares his opinions freely. In a humorous vein, his words can be misconstrued in print when his body language and tone are not conveyed. He was not misquoted Sunday but he felt like his words were taken out of context.

After firing off numerous tweets on Sunday night that accused media of piecing together his words in a misleading way, Guillen was calm and collected Monday and on good terms with the media who regularly cover the Sox.

"Everything is clear,'' Guillen said. "The only thing is when I read that and sleep well and don't care about it that's all I care. People out there, they don't know who I am, they don't know what I do.

"It upset me? Yes because it put me in the spotlight, talk about White Sox fans. The last thing I talk about when the team not playing good is the fans.That's not a good combination. But I was upset because I feel like I'm [portrayed as] stupid or crazy or ignorant. But it's over with, a new day, I sleep well.''

Benched Dunn trying to figure it out

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BOSTON -- Adam Dunn, who doesn't have a hit against left-handed pitching as a White Sox, was given a day off against left-hander Jon Lester when the Sox played the Red Sox on Monday night.

"I've never been through anything this long,'' said Dunn, who has five home runs, 23 RBI, a .181 average and 69 strikeouts. "But again, you're two good months away from being right on track, so it's not the end of the world. If we're sitting here in September, and this is like this, then we got problems. But we still got four months left. I'm going to keep fighting. I promise you."

Dunn has been through slumps but for the new American Leaguer, this one is in a league of its own. Talking before the game, Dunn was at a loss to describe what the major issue is.

"This has been one of the tougher things for me,'' he said. "I don't know why it is. I know I'm coming to a new team, we're not playing very well and I'm a big part of why we're not doing well. I think that weighs a little more on me than in the past, but to get out of it, it's not going to be to sit there and put all the pressure of the world on myself. It's going to be basically say, 'screw it and go out and have fun.' I've been doing it since I was 4-years-old. I know how to hit. I just need to show it.''

Dunn said he has watched video and studied what his swing looked like when he played with the Nationals and Reds. Hitting coach Greg Walker has talked to former hitting coaches of Dunn on numerous occasions.

"I've done all that,'' Dunn said. "I"ll let you see it and you tell me if you see anything. I can't find anything. It's baseball, I don't know how else to put it. I feel like I'm fouling off the good ones and putting myself in a bind and swinging at the bad ones. It's not a very good combinations."

"I'm getting pitches like I do normally. It seems like when I get a pitch to hit, I foul it off. I've never fouled off this many balls in a year, let alone two months. It seems like every swing I take, I foul it off. I don't know what it is. If I'm too late or what not. I don't know. We'll just keep grinding. It will come."

"I feel timing wise I'm fine. I always look at stuff if getting deep on counts, I'm seeing it and on time. I'm not swinging at bad pitches. But the day before and it's like I don't know what happens. I wish I had the answer for you."

Manager Ozzie Guillen hoped the day off would help Dunn, who signed a $56 million contract as a free agent during the offseason, to relax.

"I hope he's not thinking, 'They are paying me all this money. Look at what I'm doing.' '' Guillen said. "That's the wrong way to think. I talked to him in Toronto. You come here to help [Paul Konerko] and the rest of the guys. Don't try to do much. Try to free your mind and just think about one day at a time. Hopefully that helps.''

Dunn has received all sorts of support from well-wishing friends, family and fans.

"It's amazing the phone calls and emails I've been getting,'' he said. "You would think this is the end of the world. But that is cool, people give a crap about you and don't like to see you stink. But I don't need a pep talk. I appreciate it, but I'm fine. I'll make it."


Danks: Bautista acted like a clown

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TORONTO -- John Danks and the White Sox were none too pleased with home-run leader Jose Bautista's reaction to popping out to shortstop during the fourth inning of an 8-1 game on Sunday.

Bautista slammed his bat to the artificial turf about halfway down the first-base line. He and Danks exchanged words as Bautista passed him on his way to the Blue Jays dugout.

"I just told him to run the bases,'' Danks said. "He's out there acting like a f---ing clown. He's a good player. He's had a great year and a half, no doubt. He's been one of the best hitters in the league. He's out there acting like he's Babe Ruth or something. It's horse---- I think.''

The previous batter, Corey Patterson, had homered off Danks, who was well on his way to falling to 0-8 as the Sox lost 13-4.

The Blue Jays were winning big and Bautista reacted like it was a crucial out. Danks said the score of the game wasn't an issue with him.

"No, just the way he was acting,'' Danks said. "He ran halfway down the line and stopped and spiked his bat. I get it, he's upset at himself. I threw him a 3-1 fastball he missed and I threw him another heater. Like I said he's a good hitter. He's had a great couple of years but he isn't that good to act like he needs to be hitting every ball out of the ballpark.

"That's the way I feel. You know, I have pride -- I really do. I have had a pretty crappy year at this point but I have pride still I'm not going let him go out there and show me up like that.''

Bautista said his baserunning "should not be [Danks's] concern anyways."

"I was upset at missing a pitch, at myself,'' he said. "If he took it the wrong way, I'm sorry. I'm not here to make him feel good. It really doesn't matter to me what he thought. What I'm not going to allow is when I'm running by him, him yelling at me again, so I yelled back at him.''

Bautista was taken out of the game in the sixth inning.

Guillen destroyed coffee maker, chair in office

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TORONTO -- On the morning after losing a tough, 14-inning game to the Toronto Blue Jays, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was still charged up. It couldn't have been from too much coffee.

After Saturday's game, Guillen destroyed the coffee maker and chair in the visiting manager's office.

"I was upset because we had a chance to win, and we're not in position to give games away,'' he said Sunday morning. "And we did.

"I wish I don't feel anything for this game. I wish I didn't care about the White Sox. what the general manager, fans, media thinks. I wish I could say, ' I don't give a [s---]. I can't. I try to put it in my mind that I don't, but I can't because I love baseball, I love this organization and this is a job I want to do. I'd be lying to myself.''

Within hours, the Sox fell behind 6-1 in the first inning as John Danks gave up two homers, including a grand slam to Aaron Hill. The Sox lost 13-4. They dropped three of four games in the series.

"Nobody has more passion for the game than me," Guillen said. "Nobody. I can put that on a scale right now. You ask a lot of guys out there, maybe two or three guys tell me they want to manage, yes. They'll say 'no, I'll take my money and leave.' That's not passion. That's a job. And it's a good job."

Guillen said he would pay for the chair and coffee maker.

Sox call up Harrell; Pena to DL

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TORONTO -- The White Sox placed right-handed reliever Tony Pena on the 15-day disabled list Sunday and called up right-hander Lucas Harrell from AAA Charlotte.

Harrell, 25, was 4-2 with a 3.54 ERA in nine games, including eight starts, at Charlotte.

Pena had been sidelined earlier this month with a tender elbow. He was 1-1 with a 6.20 ERA in 17 appearances. His last outing was Friday, when he allowed one run on three hits in the eighth inning.

TORONTO -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, tired of seeing his offense waste opportunities to score, tore into his hitters after the team's 9-8 loss in 14 innings on Saturday.

The Sox came back from three deficits to force extra innings but missed scoring opportunities in the 11th and 12th innings.

"It went from a very good game to a very horse[bleep] game,'' Guillen said. "Good game because we come back and battled back, but after the ninth inning, we [bleeping] stink. Flat out stink. We get back there, very excited in the ninth inning, base hit with two out with [Konerko]. After that we're horsebleep.''

More Guillen: "Our offense [bleeping] sucks after the ninth. They [the players] can say whatever they [bleeping] want to say. For nine innings, they battled, 3-0 battled back, back in the game. Down again.

''After the ninth inning, they all sucked.''

The extra-inning game after a night game, coupled with the team's hitting woes in the clutch, are taking it out of Guillen.

"I'm drained now,'' he said. "I feel like I'm in September right now. You can ask my coaches. We feel the same way

"And we're not even in bleeping June."

Walker: Dunn needs to put his foot down

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TORONTO -- There are mechanical hitters like Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin, and there are "feel" hitters such as Adam Dunn.

Dunn doesn't have a good feel for hitting right now, which seems fairly obvious to any casual Sox observer.

"To me he's a feel hitter,'' Sox hitting coach Greg Walker said Saturday. "I really think if you break down his swing it's a fairly simple fix. We feel like he needs to get his foot down on time to be balanced.''

Walker has talked several times with Rick Eckstein, Dunn's former hitting coach with the Washington Nationals. He said they agree on what Dunn's major issue has been.

"He's shown flashes -- that game in Texas [Tuesday when he hit his last home run] he was real good getting the foot down and being balanced. When he gets that feel he's going to be real explosive for us and do great things. Right now getting his big body in position to hit is the real battle.''

Dunn was 1-for-7 with an RBI single and two strikeouts in Saturday's 9-8 loss in 14 innings, which ended on Corey Patterson's home run against Gavin Floyd. With the tying run on second and one out in the ninth, he struck out swinging against Frank Francisco before Paul Konerko blooped a game-tying single. With the go-ahead run on third and one out in the 11th, he popped out against left-hander Luis Perez.

Dunn is 5-for-47 over his last 14 games. He had 12 hits in his seven games before that. Manager Ozzie Guillen, concerned that Dunn was getting down on himself and overly frustrated, moved him down to seventh in the order Friday night, and Dunn walked four times after striking out four times the night before. On Saturday, Dunn was hitting third again, with Qunentin taking a day off.

"Any time you scuffle at this level when there are such high expectations it becomes a mantal thing,'' Walker said. "Most of it is frustration. He has always had a loosey-goosey attitude toward baseball that has served him well. But I don't care how tough or loose and fun-loving you are, when this game gets tough it's tough on you mentally and then you start seeing swing flaws.''

Ozzie: Effective Pena would make 6-man rotation work

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TORONTO -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he would stay with a six-man rotation if could rely on right-hander Tony Pena in late-inning setup situations.

Talking before Saturday's game against the Blue Jays, Guillen said Phil Humber's continued success in the rotation is making the decision on who to take out a difficult one.

With Sergio Santos closing, Jesse Crain is the only reliable right-hander available in setup situations with six starters in the rotation. Pena, the long reliever, has been used in later innings recently. On Friday night, he allowed a run on three hits in the eighth inning as the Jays widened their lead to 4-2.

"Right now we're a little confused,'' Guillen said, laughing. "We're very confused. The six-man rotation puts a lot of load on Crain. If Pena goes out there and does what he should do, I don't mind staying in a six-man rotation. We even talk about leaving it like that, but my worry is how much Crain will work. He's the only righty we have with Santos. I use Santos as closer, there is a very big gap out there to cover.

"Hopefully Pena come on and do a better job. If Pena do a better job and we have enough confidence in him.''

Pena is 1-1 with a 6.20 ERA. Jeff Gray was more effective than Pena but the Sox lost Gray on waivers when Jake Peavy came off the disabled list. Crain is 1-1 with a 2.31 ERA.

"I wish Pena could be used when we're winning to help Crain and we'd be fine,'' Guillen said.

"My problem is wow. I only bring Pena when we're down or down by one. It's not fair for Crain to carry the load. I'm not going to do it, I'm not going to do it.''

Guillen said the only starters who definitely will stay in the rotation are veteran left-hander Mark Buehrle and Jake Peavy.

"Everybody else is pretty young. We're still talking about it every day,'' Guillen said. "Every day we change our mind. "[Pitching coach Don] Cooper come up with good ideas. To make the right decision, right now in my mind I don't think what I have is the right decision. We have to wait and play around with it.

"You see this kid Humber throw, and [John] Danks, and it's kind of hard. We will work it out. But right now I'm between.''

Guillen said there have been no talks about possibly trading a starter.

"No, we don't even talk about trade, no way,'' he said. "The last thing we talk about is trade. We try to figure out how we're going to play this and how we're going to be a better ballclub. Right now we don't have a close decision. We're still talking to [general manager] Kenny [Williams] and Coop. We have ideas. The only thing is if Pena throws the ball better, then we're set. We're fine.''

Beckham hoping for Monday return

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TORONTO -- X-rays taken near the left eye of Gordon Beckham, who was struck with a ball near his left eye during Friday night's 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays, were normal.

The White Sox second baseman left the game during the third inning. A CT scan and vision exam were also normal. Omar Vizquel started at second base Satrday.

A throw to second base from center fielder Alex Rios, as Juan Rivera was sliding in with a double, bounced up over Beckham's glove.

Beckham immediately went to his knees. He walked off the field with Sox trainer Herm Schneider holding a towel to the eye.

"I can see fine,'' Beckham said Saturday. "Once the swelling goes down, I think I'll be in there. I don't know if it's tomorrow or Monday, but if it's not tomorrow, it's Monday. I can see now, but I can see this knot I have under my eye, which is a lot of fun."

The eye was close to completely swollen shut on Saturday.

"It really never hurt. I really wouldn't say it was shock, either. I just knew it hit me in the right spot and I just wanted to stay down and not move it too much because I really didn't know what had happened. But I figured I was fine. The ball hit me basically in the eye, which is never good."

Vizquel moved from third base to second to replace Beckham, and Dallas McPherson entered the game to play third. McPherson struck out three times in three at-bats. Beckham, in his only at-bat in the third, was robbed of extra bases by left fielder Corey Patterson's catch.

White Sox' Pierre gets piece of "wiffle ball"

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TORONTO - Juan Pierre reached base four times on Thursday night, drove in two runs and figured in the key play of the game in the ninth inning, hustling out his AL-leading 14th infield hit of the season on a play that scored two runs.

After fouling off a 3-2 pitch, just tipping a slider in the dirt from left-hander Marc Rzepczyski, Pierre hit the ball deep behind the first base bag and beat Rzepczyski to first for a single. Two runs scored to give the Sox a 3-1 lead.

The Sox dugout erupted. Pierre knew he would be safe almost from the crack of the bat.
"Yes, once I saw that I had a little lead on him running toward the bag,'' he said. "Got out of the box quick, man. That guy is pretty nasty on the mound. Battled, and it ended up putting the ball where they had to make a great play to get me.''

Sergio Santos picked up his eighth save in the ninth to preserve the 3-1 win.

Pierre, who had a horrendous April at bat, on the bases and in the field, raised his average to .265. The left-handed hitting leadoff man is 16-for-41 against lefties.

"Against the lefty tonight, that was old-school,'' he said. "Wiffle ball in the back yard. All mechanics was out the door. He had a big slider, fastball at 93, sink. So I've just been able to put the ball in play good against lefties. I think over the course of my career I've always hit lefties better than righties. Tonight it just felt good to drive in some runs. I've been leaving them out there pretty much a lot here the last week, so it just felt good.''

Pierre had swung and missed at two pitches before the foul tip that gave him an extra swing.

"Against a guy like that, especially when you get down two strikes, you think battle, fight, fight. Choke up, put it in play somehow. Barely called it a tip, I'm glad the umpire heard it, because usually the umpire is like 'no tip' and you'd be out, but I made a point to tell him I got a little piece of it and I lived to see another pitch and ended up putting that one in play.''

Dunn dropping to seventh in White Sox lineup

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TORONTO -- Adam Dunn will be dropped to seventh in the batting order when the White Sox play the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.

Dunn struck out four times in four at-bats in the Sox' 3-1 victory against the Jays on Thursday. He is batting .186.

"I'm going to put A.J. [Pierzynski], Rios and him [seventh],'' manager Ozzie Guillen said after the game Thursday. "It's not a punishment. To help him relax a little. You can see him starting to worry after his at-bats. He's very down. But I will continue to play him.

"Hopefully batting him seventh will help him relax a little. Hopefully that will work. When he swings the bat better we'll put him back where he is supposed to be.''

Dunn has struck out 65 times this season.
Guillen, who on Sunday made it clear that the Sox won't compete if Dunn and Rios don't produce, addressed that again before the game when Toronto media asked him about former Blue Jay Rios.

"I don't want to put pressure on those guys but that's the truth,'' Guillen said. "We can't rely on PK [Paul Konerko] and Carlos Quentin every night. I think we have a great, great offensive ballclub. When we hit, we can be scary.

"We've showed good things here and there, but not [sustained for] a week or 10 days.''

White Sox' Konerko: Tribe within reach

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TORONTO - Team captain Paul Konerko has seen it all in 12 seasons in the major leagues, so a nine-game deficit in the standings in May means nothing to him.

"Listen, I was on the 2005 team that was up 15 games on August 1 and saw that go all the way down to nothing,'' Konerko said before the Sox beat the Blue Jays 3-1 on Thursday night. "So in my mind anything is possible.''

The Sox were World Series champs that season. On paper this season they were considered a contender during spring training but a 23-28 start for the Sox, coupled with a 30-17 start for the surprising, AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians has changed a lot of minds.

It will take more than getting Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham to find their hitting strokes, Konerko said.

"It's not all about the numbers,'' Konerko said. "There are things between the numbers we can do better - on the bases, the little things that create more runs. We need to do a better job when we don't have everything going. Instead of scraping out two runs, scrape out four. It's possible to do. We just need to be better at it.''

Having won four of five from the Indians with 12 left to play them means a lot.
"This trip [which continues in Boston] is an important trip to get through May eight or nine behind,'' Konerko said. "Staying right where we're at or better, you have four months to go with a ton of head to heads left. It's certainly possible.''

The Sox opened a four-game series in Toronto on Thursday night. Phil Humber pitched five scoreless innings and Juan Pierre drove in a run with a single in the fifth to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.

Pierre, who extended his hitting streak to 11 with the hit and added two more with his 14th infield hit of the season in the ninth. That one scored Alex Rios, who had reached on an error, and Gordon Beckham, who was hit by a pitch to give the Sox a 3-1 lead.
Sergio Santos came on to pitch the ninth.

Quentin's 3 homers power White Sox past Rangers

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ARLINGTON, Texas - Carlos Quentin hit two home runs Tuesday night and one more on Wednesday morning - all in the same game - to power the White Sox to an 8-6 victory against the Texas Rangers.

It ended at 1:27 a.m., about six hours after Quentin hit a home run in the first inning. He crushed a mammoth opposite-field homer in the third inning into the teeth of a strong wind that came rushing in with a scary storm that later sent fans scurrying for cover.

Less than 12 hours before the White Sox were due back to Rangers Ballpark for a 1:05 p.m. matinee game on Wednesday, Sergio Santos got the last four outs to preserve the victory, the Sox' 12th in their last 17 games. It was Santos' seventh save.

"Two in the morning, you might as well win it,'' Santos said.

Tony Pena (1-1), the second of six relievers to follow Jake Peavy, gave up two runs on one inning but got the win. It was so windy while Peavy was on the mound that plate umpire Tim McClelland visited Peavy and told him he was balking - because Peavy couldn't keep his balance standing on the mound while pitching from the stretch.

"That was almost unplayable,'' Peavy said. "No excuses, I didn't make a whole lot of good pitches.

"I didn't have good stuff and the location wasn't that good. Those are the starts you like to find out where you stand, go out there and battle through and get a quality start. At the end of the day, we walked away with a big White Sox win we had to have.''

Besides Quentin's first three-homer game that pushed his total to 12, Adam Dunn hit a tiebreaking shot for his first home run since May 11, and Juan Pierre stole a base - his first since May 3 -- signs that the Sox (23-27) may be coming out of the offensive doldrums that bogged them down these first two months of the season.

By that time, the bad weather had moved out. The last 5 1/2 innings were played in normal conditions.

The Sox even gained a game on the Cleveland Indians, who lost to the Red Sox 4-2.

"It was a great battle,' Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.

"Carlos had a huge day for us. Those are the games you don't want to lose after a three-hour delay.''

Quentin is the fifth player in 13 days to hit three homers in a game, joining Carlos Beltran, Jason Giambi, Corey Hart and Jose Bautista.

Peavy's third start of the season and his first since pitching a three-hit shutout against the Indians on Wednesday was limited to three innings because of a storm that sent spectators moving to field-level aisles indoors. Hail, heavy rain, high winds and the threat of tornadoes halted the game at the middle of the fourth inning with the Sox and Peavy leading 4-2.

Peavy threw 63 pitches, 42 for strikes. He allowed five hits and a walk while striking out two.

Fans in the upper deck at Rangers Ballpark were asked to move to the lower level for precautionary reasons during the early innings, and when the game was delayed, fans on the main concourse were instructed to take shelter in the service aisles on the field level, outside the Sox clubhouse where players were watching the Bulls-Heat game.
After a two hour, 58 minute delay, play resumed at 11:21 p.m.
Somehow, Quentin muscled out two home runs to provide the Sox' four runs before the rain. His first-inning shot against left-hander Derek Holland was wind-proof, a low liner to left. But his second homer, an opposite-field three-run blast in the third, was remarkable. Quentin hit it an estimated 405 feet not too far from the foul pole, beneath the flags blowing stiff from right toward home plate.

"Impressive,'' Guillen said. "You only see home runs like that with Josh Hamilton hitting, or maybe Dunn or Jim Thome.''
Quentin and the struggling Dunn (fifth) had switched places in the lineup, and that move by Guillen proved to be shrewd. It gave Quentin his second multi-homer game and the 12th of his career. With 11 homers this season, he passed Paul Konerko for the team lead. Dunn hit his fifth homer, a 404-foot shot into the top deck in right field, leading off the sixth to give the Sox a 5-4 lead. Brent Morel added an RBI single to make it 6-4.
Mitch Moreland's RBI single off the wall against Chris Sale in the sixth cut the Sox lead to 6-5. Alex Rios' RBI double in the seventh made it 7-5.

Peavy, 4-1 with a 1.77 ERA in his previous seven starts going back to last season, was looking to become the second pitcher in Sox history to not walk a batter in his first three starts of the season (John Whitehead did it in 1939), but that endeavor was trashed when Peavy walked the first batter he faced. Ian Kinsler advanced to second on Elvis Andrus' tap in front of the plate and scored on Josh Hamilton's single to center.

Rain holds Peavy to three innings

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ARLINGTON, Texas - Jake Peavy's start was limited to three innings on Tuesday night, thanks to severe weather that delayed the White Sox game against the Texas Rangers for two hours, 58 minutes.

The Sox won 8-6 behind three home runs by Carlos Quentin. Adam Dunn hit his fifth homer, a tiebreaking shot, to lead off the sixth inning against Brett Tomko.

Dunn's homer was estimated at 404 feet. It landed in the top deck and gave the Sox a 5-4 lead. Brent Morel added an RBI single to make it 6-4. Mitch Moreland's RBI single off the wall against Chris Sale in the sixth cut the Sox lead to 6-5.

Fans were asked to evacuate the main concourse during the delay and to take cover in the service areas at field level. Earlier, fans in the upper deck were asked to move to the lower level because of tornadoes in the area, although none appeared to be headed toward the ballpark.

Somehow, Quentin muscled out two home runs to provide the Sox' offense. Quentin's first-inning shot against left-hander Derek Holland was wind-proof, a low liner to left. But his second homer, an opposite-field three-run blast into a strong wind in the third inning, was remarkable. Quentin launched it an estimated 405 feet, and not too far from the foul pole, beneath the flags blowing in stiff from right field toward home plate.

Quentin and struggling Dunn (fifth) had switched places in the lineup, and that move by manager Ozzie Guillen proved to be a good one. Quentin had his second multi-homer game, the 12th of his career and his 10th and 11th homers of the season passed Paul Konerko for the team lead.

Peavy was dominant in his last start on Wednesday, a masterful three-hit shutout of the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field. The Indians have been pounding the ball this season, and the Sox won that one 1-0. Tonight, he faced a Rangers lineup that welcomed back reigning MVP Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz, who had been on the disabled list.

Hamilton had an RBI single in the first and Cruz doubled in the second. Michael Young's sacrifice fly in the third pushed in the Rangers' second run.

"This is as good a lineup as you're going to face,'' Peavy said. "In this park, especially. Obviously, we saw what they did last year and all the talent they've accumulated over here. And getting Hamilton and Cruz back will bring them energy there, so we got our work cut out for us.''

Peavy, 4-1 with a 1.77 ERA in his previous seven starts, was looking to become the second pitcher in Sox history to not walk a batter in his first three starts of the season (John Whitehead did it in 1939), but that endeavor was pitchforked when Peavy walked the first batter he faced. Ian Kinsler advanced to second on Elvis Andrus' tap in front of the plate and scored on Hamilton's single to center.

"I'm not sure if it's the same Jake Peavy in San Diego, but he was pretty dang good the other night.,'' Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "Now the goal is to keep him healthy and strong all year.

"He's come back sooner rather than later after this first-time surgery. It's really kind of freaky what he's doing but the way he did it [against the Indians] brings an energy, confidence and aggressiveness that can be contagious with the team.''

All eyes will be on Peavy to see how he progresses and whether he can endure repeated starts. One reason the Sox went to a six-man rotation was to give Peavy an extra day of rest.

"That extra day is so big,'' Peavy said. [Monday would have been] my day and I would have no problems pitching on [that] day. That extra day is big in recovery. Another day to feel better than you already do."

Peavy said he talked to Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay of the Phillies about the Rangers, both of whom faced the Rangers over the weekend.

"We've done our homework and are excited to go out,'' Peavy said. "It's another challenge, as Cleveland was.

"The big leagues are a challenge, and these next two being here and in Boston for me, it's as good as you're going to get. But we got to go out and do what we do to give ourselves a chance to win. It's fun. When you face the best, it's fun and extra motivation to do well. I'm excited for [tonight]."

Thornton tweaks slider, leans on fastball

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Matt Thornton, who lost the closer's role after four blown saves, had five consecutive scoreless outings going into the White Sox' game against the Rangers on Monday night, lowering his ERA to 5.93.

Thornton has modified his slider, going back to a harder, true 88-91 mph slider as opposed to the slower, more curvy second pitch he used to throw. He got a big strikeout with it against Oakland's David DeJesus,, but his bread-and-butter pitch is still a 96-97 mph fastball.

"It has a late cut when it's right,'' Thornton said. "Just a touch of cut where I get jams and broken bats. Hitters see a fastball coming in and they're geared up for a mid-90s fastball and it cuts at the end. It's a pretty tough pitch to handle.''

Thornton got a two-inning save Sunday and was going to relieve Jake Peavy in the ninth, if needed, on Wednesday. Peavy pitched a complete game. Thornton remains comfortable in innings seven through nine.

"People probably look and say, 'He can't handle the ninth inning.' That's not the case at all,'' Thornton said Monday. "Sergio [Santos] earned the right and he's got the majority of save opportunities. So be it. I haven't lost confidence in myself and they haven't lost confidence in me.''

Beckham gets rest; Sox defeat Tribe 8-2

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Omar Vizquel started at second base against the Cleveland Indians on Thursday in place of Gordon Beckham, who is batting .210 with 36 strikeouts. Against right-hander Fausto Carmona, who can be tough on righties, manager Ozzie Guillen also sat Brent Morel in favor of left-handed hitting Dallas McPherson at third base.

With a heavy fog settling in over U.S. Cellular Field, the Sox defeated the Indians 8-2 to complete a two-game sweep against the AL Central-leading Indians.

Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez each hit two-run doubles, and Adam Dunn hit a two-run single for the Sox, who scored two runs in the first inning and four in the second. Carlos Quentin hit a two-run homer in the fifth.

"The only thing I worry about with Gordon, he strikes out a lot,'' Guillen said before the game. "He went through a lot of tough times last year and overcame it, came back and was the player we thought he would be. But right now he's striking out quite a few times and that worries me.''

The hitting woes have not affected Beckham's defense. He hasn't made an error since Aug. 27 of last season.

"I had better [play good defense] the way I'm hitting,'' Beckham said Thursday.

The Sox trailed Cleveland by 11 games in the loss column going into the game. Gavin Floyd started on the mound for the Sox. Floyd gave up a run in the first inning, then followed with six scoreless innings.

"Every game for us, when you are in the position we are, every game is very important because we don't want to lose ground,'' Guillen said. "Does this game mean a lot? Yes. But to think this game's going to decide the championship or who wins the division, no.''

After the shutout: What Peavy said

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Making his second start since last July, Jake Peavy was in Cy Young form against the AL Central leading Indians, pitching a three-hit shutout to lead the Sox to an important 1-0 victory on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Peavy allowed three hits, walked none and struck out eight, including four of the last five batters he faced.

"It means the world to me me,'' Peavy said. "I feel so blessed for the opportunity after you struggle to come back. More important, it's a 1-0 win, a great win for the boys.''

Here's what else Peavy had to say after the game:

"I feel so blessed to have the opportunity, once again, to go out there. For your stuff to come back, especially on a night like tonight when you have the first place team coming in and win 1-0 against a guy [Justin Masterson] who really has had our number, obviously it's personally gratifying but at the same time you got to put personal matters aside. A great win by the boys."

Asked if it was beyond his wildest expectations, Peavy said, "I wish I could tell you yes, but I expect to win. I don't know what to expect coming off this surgery, and I don't know how good I can be and if I can get back. This was a lot of what I used to do tonight, but I'm going to grind it out. But I can promise you on every fifth day, I take the ball [every] 6-7 [days], however many, I expect to win. And that's the bottom line. No matter if it has to happen tonight. If we have to win 8-5 in Texas six days from now, that's what has to happen, on that fifth day."

Peavy gives red-hot bullpen a night off

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Reason for hope: The White Sox bullpen is not only a problem of the past, it is a strength. Sox relievers have not allowed an earned run in 27 2/3 innings over the last 11 games. In the last 14, games, the pen has surrendered one earned run over 31 1/3 innings (0.29).

"Our bullpen can compete against anyone in the league right now,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said.

The bullpen rested easy Wednesday night while starter Jake Peavy cruised, throwing a three-hit shutout as the Sox defeated the Indians 1-0.

Matt Thornton was warming in the bullpen in the ninth, but it was Peavy's game to win.

Sergio Santos was six-for-six in save opportunities and hasn't allowed a run since last season, Jesse Crain has seven straight scoreless outings and Matt Thornton three.

Sox relievers lead the AL with 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings and posted a 0.74 ERA with five saves in five chances in May, down from 5.55 and six blown saves in April.

Chris Sale is still searching for consistency but has made baby steps in recent outings.

"He has good enough stuff to be up there [in the late innings],'' Guillen said. "If Chris throws strikes he can be one of the nastiest lefties in the game.''

McPherson helps Sox defeat Rangers; Teahen on DL

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Dallas McPherson's baseball resume is chock full of injuries, rejection and failure. And an appearance in the 2004 ALDS with the Angels against the Red Sox and 175 minor-league home runs.

On Tuesday, the 30-year-old left-handed hitting third baseman embarked on what could be anything from a cup of coffee with the White Sox to the beginning of a productive stay in the major leagues. In baseball, as Joaquin Andujar liked to say, you never know.

He couldn't have asked for a better start, hitting the first pitch he saw from right-handed side-winder Cody Eppley up the middle for a pinch single in the eighth inning. Gordon Beckham advanced to third on the hit and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

"Yeah, that was a great moment,'' said McPherson, who was recalled from AAA Charlotte to replace Mark Teahen, who went on the disabled list Tuesday.

"I had no idea what he had as far as offspeed pitches and stuff. I was looking for something to hook in the four-hole [between the first and second basemen]. I miscalculated a little bit and got luck it went over the middle.''

At Charlotte, McPherson was batting 305 with three home runs and 18 RBI in 31 games. He got word he was moving up during a rain delay Monday.

"I've got to be honest, I wasn't sure I'd hear those words again,'' said McPherson, who missed the entire 2007 season after back surgery and all of 2009 with with more back problems.

Fighting through injuries has been a way of baseball life for McPherson.
"I knew I wanted to keep playing baseball and I felt like I still could,'' he said. "My back was going to tell me whether I could or not. Luckily right now, it's holding up. That's all I can ask for and pray it continues that way.''

Teahen (.226), who also knows a thing or two about injuries, has a mild oblique strain. His move to the DL is retroactive to May 12, making him eligible to return May 27. The Sox signed McPherson in November and gave him a lot of playing time in spring training.

"After the springs I've had in the past and the last few years with all the injuries, I was happy to be healthy and play every day,'' McPherson said. "Hopefully I can showcase that I'm healthy and can help produce at the major league level.''

A second-round draft pick by the Angels in 2001, McPherson is a career .245 hitter with 18 home runs and 45 RBI in 128 games with the Angels and Marlins.

Manager Ozzie Guillen had mentioned Dayan Viciedo (.315, five homers at Charlotte) as a possible replacement for Teahen, but McPherson is a better defensive third baseman than Viciedo, who was covnerted from third to right field. Guillen also said that Viciedo will play every day when he is called up.

Juan and not done: Guillen backs Pierre

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen continues to stand behind veteran left fielder Juan Pierre, who has struggled in the field and on the bases this season.

Pierre had a rough game Sunday but escaped heavy-duty scrutiny because the Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 4-3 to finish 6-3 on their road trip to Seattle, Anaheim and Oakland.

After leading off the game against A's ace Trevor Cahill with a single, the 33-year-old veteran was picked off by Trevor Cahill with Adam Dunn at-bat. Pierre, who has only six stolen bases while being caught stealing eight times, was leaning toward second and never even got back to the base.

Things got worse for Pierre. He hit into two double plays in one game for only the second time in his career, ending the third and fifth innings. In both innings, the Sox had two runners on. In the seventh, Pierre fouled off two squeeze-bunt attempts with Omar Vizquel on third, then grounded to first, unable to score Vizquel.

"One thing about Juan,'' Guillen said. "You're going to see the same one tomorrow. Going to go out and play the game, play the game right. When you play every day, you're going to go through tough times. He'll be there batting first again.''

Pierre is one of the team's hardest workers. Before the series in Oakland began on Friday, Pierre studied video of Oakland pitchers' moves for nearly an hour.

"I don't worry about him because he's a professional,'' Guillen said. "He will battle. That's not the first time he's been through it. He'll find a way."

Pierre is batting .242 with 13 runs scored and nine RBI.

Sox defeat A's 4-3

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The White Sox faced a tall order in the last game of their nine-game road trip Sunday, facing Oakland Athletics ace right-hander Trevor Cahill, who took a 6-0 record and 1.72 ERA into the rubber game of the three-game series.

The Sox were 5-3 on the trip going in.

"This game is huge,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said before the Sox defeated the A's 4-3.

"This game can make it very special or a good one. This game can be the difference between a good trip and an OK one. I think right now we're playing well.''

Left-hander Mark Buehrle (2-3, 4.02) took the mound for the White Sox. Buehrle was up to the challenge of opposing Cahill, allowing two runs over 6 1/3 innings as the Sox took a 4-3 lead. Matt Thornton got the hold in the eighth and Sergio Santos got his fifth save with a scoreless ninth.

"I said in Chicago this trip would be important for us, not just what people were talking, but as a team,'' Guillen said. "If we were playing the way we were, it was going to be a long trip. We played good. We're competing and our optimism is back. A lot of good things have happened."

Something bad happened in the first inning Sunday. Juan Pierre, after leading off with a single, was picked off by Cahill with Adam Dunn at-bat. Pierre, who has only six stolen bases while being caught stealing eight times, was leaning and never even got back to the base.

Things got worse for Pierre. He hit into two double plays in one game for only the second time in his career, ending the third and fifth innings. In both innings, the Sox had two runners on. In the seventh, Pierre fouled off two squeeze bunt attempts with Omar Vizquel on third, then grounded as Vizquel had to hold at third.

Alexei Ramirez singled in Vizquel to make it 4-1 Sox.

The Sox took a 1-0 lead on a home run by Ramirez in the fourth inning. Ramirez hit one to the warning track in the first inning. After Coco Crisp homered for the A's to tie it, the Sox went ahead 2-1 on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Quentin.

In the seventh, Alex Rios led off with a double to left. Vizqel, who singled in his first two at-bats, laid down a sacrifice bunt that Cahill fielded but made an errant throw on, allowing Rios to score and make it 3-1.

The Sox were not baffled by Cahill, who allowed eight hits in the first six innings.

Dunn played first base Sunday. Paul Konerko (10 home runs, 30 RBI) was the designated hitter. Konerko was doubled off first on a running catch into the right field corner by Conor Jackson, whose bobble on the catch gave Konerko the impression the ball was dropped. Konerko continuted on to third base and was out easily at first.

Teams get off the bus running against Sox

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Catcher A.J. Pierzynski joked about tagging out Coco Crisp on an attempted steal of home Friday as the only way to improve his percentage for nailing base stealers. Ozzie Guillen also wisecracked about it, but they both know opponents' 35-for-40 for success-rate stealing against them is no laughing matter.

"We have to get better.,'' Guillen said Saturday. "How? I always say when you have a guy who can throw [really well] behind the plate, [no worries]. But I think everything comes with the pitchers. The pitcher has to take care of the guy on first base to give the catcher a better chance.''

The A's did not run on catcher Ramon Castro in their 6-2 win against the Sox on Saturday, perhaps because they got ahead early and led 5-0 in the fifth inning and didn't see the need.

Pierzynski has an average throwing arm, at best, and that won't change, so Guillen knows improvements in every aspect of defending the steal are key - starting with holding runners and seeing that shortstop Alexei Ramirez catches the ball at the bag and not in front and bringing his glove back for the tag.

"Everything. Just name it,'' Guillen said. "Good jump, bad throws, don't pay attention to the runners. There's a lot of things that go into it. We have to get better.''

Sox starters Edwin Jackson and Gavin Floyd have allowed eight stolen bases, tied for fifth worst in the majors. Reliever Matt Thornton has been stolen on five times.

After Crisp led off the first with a single, Floyd (4-3) did a nice job of varying his moves and paying attention to Crisp, who did not attempt a steal. Floyd fell behind 3-0 on the No. 2 hitter, Daric Barton, before coming back and getting him on a pop fly to left.

Castro started behind the plate Saturday, giving Pierzynski a day off after a night game.

"I think he need more rest,'' Guillen said. "This guy play so long and so much sometimes we forget we carry him.''

The A's first run Saturday came on a roller by Cliff Pennington that got under a diving Paul Konerko's glove at first and off the heel of a sprawling Gordon Beckham in short right. Kevin Kouzmanoff (double) never broke stride and easily beat Beckham's throw home. A single by Crisp moved Pennington to third, and Barton hit a sacrifice fly to give the A's a 2-0 lead.

The Sox were held to six hits, including a two-run homer by Paul Konerko against A's starter Tyson Ross (3-2).

Peavy talks about his first start, going forward

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Jake Peavy reflected Friday on his first start of the season against the Angels on Wednesday night. Here is much of what he had to say about that outing, where he's at physically and his desire to pitch deeper into games:

"Good day off yesterday. Just some cardio to make sure we did something. Good workday today. And got on my weight lifting and shoulder program. I'm not going till Wednesday. So just got plenty of time to recover. It's not needed but what we've chosen to do so I hope to build the outing next time and let me go a little longer than 87 pitches.''

Steal of home foiled; White Sox hold on to beat A's

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The White Sox scored four runs in the second inning against former Sox right-hander Brandon McCarthy and made them hold up for a 4-3 victory on Friday night.

The Sox (16-23) have won five of their last six, all on the road.

Phil Humber (3-3) breezed through six scoreless innings before tiring in the seventh, when the first three A's singled against him. Jesse Crain stopped the damage, and the Sox led 4-3 after seven.

In the eighth, A's center fielder Coco Crisp was out attempting to steal home for the tying run. With Sox left-hander Matt Thornton's back to him, Crisp dashed for the plate but was out on a close play as catcher A.J. Pierzynski lunged in front of the plate and tagged him on the right shoulder to preserve the lead.

"He caught me off guard a little bit,'' Thornton said. "Who knows, if I flinch maybe it's a balk.''

Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said the outcome of the play was an indication of how the Sox fortunes have turned on this road trip.

"I guarantee you, if they had tried that two weeks ago, he would have been safe,'' Guillen said. "That's how baseball is.''

Sergio Santos pitched a scoreless ninth, his fourth in as many opportunities. Santos has pitched 18 scoreless innings this season.

Omar Vizqel, playing in place of injured Mark Teahen (strained right oblique) drove in a run with a double and scored a run. The Sox managed one hit against McCarthy and two relievers after Vizquel's double. That was a single by Vizquel on which he was out trying to stretch into a double in the fourth. After that, the last 15 Sox went down in order.

At 5-2 on their current trip to Seattle, Anaheim and Oakland, the Sox assured themselves of a winning record on the trip.

Gavin Floyd opposes Tyson Ross Saturday, and Mark Buehrle faces A's ace Trevor Cahill on Sunday.

Dunn on DH: "the best gig you can have"

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OAKLAND, Calif. - Adam Dunn has tried them all, and he has finally settled into a designated-hitter routine.

And the winner is ...

"I sit there and watch the game and don't do anything until about two batters before I'm due up,'' the White Sox first-year DH said Friday. "Then and I go down, stretch a little and take 10 or 15 swings and I go with it.''

Dunn, a DH for the first time in a career that had been limited to the National League before the Sox plunked down $56 to sign him as a free agent, wasn't thrilled with the idea of not playing the field, but to his credit he has embraced the DH role and is bent on making the most of it.

He's finding out it's not such a bad thing, after all.

"If you're hitting and winning it's probably the best gig you can have, you know?'' Dunn said. "I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable doing it. Trying to get where it's second nature.''

Dunn hates to say he told you so, but his bat is heating up after a sluggish extended start that coincided with the team's offensive woes.

"I feel good,'' said Dunn, who had four hits including a home run and double in the Sox' 6-4 win against the Angels in 10 innings Wednesday night. The difference between when I'm doing good and not doing good is I'm taking pitches I should be hitting or I'm fouling them off.''

Going into the Sox' game against the Athletics in Oakland on Friday night, Dunn was 10-for-21 (.476) with five doubles, a hoe run, four RBI and seven runs scored in his previous five games.

Six-man rotation could last: Guillen

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OAKLAND, Calif. - Ozzie Guillen said he sees no reason not to stay with a six-man roation if it works past the 20-day experimentation period that began with Phil Humber starting against the A's on Friday night.

"If we like what we see, of course we'll keep it at six,'' Guillen said when asked if he can envision it in place deep into the summer. "Yes. Because I don't see no reason to change it.''

Humber's strong start to the season and Peavy's return from the disabled list forced the Sox into the six-man-plan, which hasn't been used before.

"I hope all those guys throw the ball good so we keep it there,'' Guillen said. "The only reason we change it is if somebody struggle or we need more help in bullpen or that thing don't work. But we have a pretty tough stretch of 20 days. The way the starters throw right now, it's a perfect time to do it. We'll see after that how that works. We have a plan A and plan B if everything don't work we'll figure out what to do.''

Peavy came out of his start Wednesday in Anaheim feeling fine. He said there's no doubt he could pitch in a five-man rotation. He was not satisfied throwing only 87 pitches, but Guillen played it safe and pulled him because it was his first start.

"Hopefully when we go to a six-man staff, they'll stretch us out a little longer, let us go 115-120 Peavy said Friday.

"With those extra days, that shouldn't be a problem to do and come back if you got that extra day of rest."

Humber had allowed three hits or less while throwing seven innings or more in three straight starts. The only Sox pitcher to do that was Billy Pierce in 1957.

Peavy not bad in debut; Sox rally, win in 10

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ANAHEIM, Calif. - Jake Peavy accepts that he won't be the pitcher he was for at least a couple of months, and maybe not until next season.

At perhaps 80 percent of what he once was, Peavy was pretty good in his season debut on Wednesday night, a 6-4 White Sox win in 10 innings against the Los Angeles Angels.

Pitching in a major-league game for the first time since he tore the lat pitching against the Angels at U.S. Cellular Field last July, Peavy gave up four runs on seven hits over six innings. He didn't walk a batter and he struck out four.

"Tonight's game could have been a run or two,'' Peavy said. "I felt like I could have pitched deeper - 87 pitches or so - I felt strong and certainly didn't want to come out of the game I asked to stay in , I felt strong and was getting people out. ... of course I wanted to stay in the game.''

Danks sinks to 0-6

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Until Tuesday, John Danks had been a tough-luck loser. That was tough enough to take.

And then, against the Los Angeles Angels he just lost without the bad luck. Danks couldn't get his cutter working and watched his record sink to 0-6. He was beat emotionally as well.

"I don't know. I'm at that place,'' Danks said after allowing 10 hits and six runs in five innings in the Sox' 6-2 loss at Angel Stadium.

"I felt pretty good today. I had good command. Maybe too good command. I felt like I was getting ahead of guys but letting them off the hook, like I didn't have a really sharp put away pitch. I'll be back at it tomorrow and come back and get ready for my next start, and go from there. I said it a couple times - this is getting old. It really is. I don't know. It's tough."

The six earned runs are the most Danks has allowed this season. He became the first Sox since Neil Allen in 1987 to start a season 0-6.

"I have a strong backbone,'' Danks said. "I've been in a lot of contact with family. ... I don't feel alone at all. At the same time, I'm more frustrated than I've ever been in my career. I don't know. I feel like I've thrown the ball decently. Today I didn't have it, and I gave it up. On the whole, I feel I've thrown the ball better than what my record shows. But I'm still 0-6 and need to pull my weight and need to do better. Obviously, I don't want to be the weak link on the team. Deep down, you almost feel like that.''

"There's a good foundation here, a lot of good guys here by me and they're not talking me off the ledge, but they're keeping me within arm's reach so I don't jump off the ledge yet. I'll be OK. I'll be ready for my next start and we'll go from there."

Gray likely headed out

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jeff Gray pitched three scoreless innings in relief of John Danks in the White Sox' 6-2 loss to the Angels on Tuesday night, lowering his ERA to 2.70.

Then he said his goodbyes.

The Sox won't make an official roster move until before Wednesday's game, when Jake Peavy makes his first start of the season and goes back on the 25-man roster. Gray appeared to be the odd-man out, and judging by the handshakes and well wishes from teammates, that seemed a certainty.

"Awesome, awesome," Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said when asked about Gray's outings. "He has pitched very well for us. This kid has good stuff.''

Gray came up when outfielder Lastings Milledge was waived in April.

A review of "edgy" U.S. Cellular Field

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U.S. Cellular Field gets high marks for food, atmosphere and its fans. The neighborhood, access to the park and return on investment? Well, not so good.

Stadium Journey, which publishes reviews of pro and college sports stadiums, recently posted a revised review of the White Sox' ballpark. It's a thorough and thoughtful look.

Paul Swaney, Stadium Journey co-founder, awards one to five stars in various categories for sports venues. The Cell gets five stars for food and beverage and four for atmosphere and fans. The other categories get middle-of-the road three stars.

"There's a bit of an edge at U.S. Cellular Field, the home of the Chicago White Sox, that is difficult to explain without the use of some cliché like "blue-collar," Swaney writes. "Nothing that I am able to think of adequately describes the feeling inside a White Sox game, so I'll just leave it there, with an edge.''

Swaney's knock on the park is the upper bowl, which he says drastically drops off experience-wise from the main level.

Here is the link to the U.S. Cellular review. It's worth a look.

Jackson, Sox starters on a roll

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Edwin Jackson was sharp. And relaxed.

The White Sox right-hander was locating his fastball and slider against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night, and thanks to some unusual offensive support, he was able to pitch with relative ease. For once.

"It's a great feeling when you look up and you have early run support,'' said Jackson, who gave up five hits, struck out five and walked one. "You don't have to be as perfect and you can still stay in the mind frame, attacking hitters. When the offense is swinging like that, you just want to get them back in as quick as possible so they can continue to swing.''

In the last three games the Sox have 40 hits and 19 runs after scoring 16 runs in their previous six games. Sox starters have a 1.58 ERA in their last seven games.

Jackson, who was on the losing end of Francisco Liriano's no-hitter for the Twins against the Sox in his last start, said he doesn't feel snakebit. He has had his share of shaky outings, too.

"Not really because a couple of those starts I gave up between six and eight runs,'' Jackson said. "It doesn't matter if they score or not. If you give up eight, the chances of you winning are slim.''

"I would definitely hope [that we're back on track],'' he said. "This is a great start to come in against a tough team like this and take Game 1 of this series. We are trying to keep the ball rolling and keep it moving.''

Beckham jumpstarts Sox offense

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Second baseman Gordon Beckham continued to climb out of his hitting funk with a home run and double in the White Sox' 8-0 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.

Beckham's homer against Ervin Santana in the second inning jump-started the Sox offense, which produced 11 hits, including homers by Beckham, Carlos Quentin and Alexei Ramirez.

"Yeah it was good to get that early in the game,'' Beckham said of his homer. "I think it got us moving a little bit in the right direction. Whenever somebody goes up there and does something like that early in the game, I guess it kind of puts the pressure off the other guys. You see somebody hitting it's contagious. I think it was a good start. Carlos had a good game, a lot of people had great, great at-bats all throughout the night and we were able to put enough runs on the board to win.''

Beckham has nine hits in his last 23 at-bats (.391) with three doubles, a homer and six runs scored, raising his average to .231. He has not made an error this season. Quentin had five RBI. He leads the American League with 15 doubles and 23 extra-base hits.

"I've kind of said that I think we're still going to be in it at the end, I really do,'' he said. "We're starting to play better. We're starting to play like we're capable of. All we can do is to keep trying to do that and to show up and I don't think anything has changed from the last three days to the last month.''

The Sox are 14-22. The team's goal is to get on a hot streak and inch closer to the .500 mark and go from there.

"I really think we show up every day and work hard and it hadn't worked out for the last month but when you do that stuff over and over again it's going to turn in your favor I think,'' Beckham said.

Thornton: Results all that matter

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ANAHEIM, Calif. - Sox left-hander Matt Thornton never saw it coming: Four blown saves in four opportunities, an 0-3 record and a 7.36 ERA.

Despite a taking the loss in a two-inning relief stint in Seattle on Friday night, Thornton appears to be turning a corner. The 2010 All-Star's velocity remains in the 96-97 mph range and he's had better command with his slider in his last two outings.

The all-important confidence level is still good, all things considered.

"Obviously I have a history of doing a pretty good job of [pitching],'' Thornton said before the Sox faced the Angels on Monday night. "My stuff is still there. It's not like I'm losing it. But you need to help maintain leads and ties. It's about winning games. I can't continue to pitch with the same results I've had.''

"The results aren't there, and when you're in a results based industry it's not going to look good.''

The Sox got a three-run homer and a pair of RBI doubles from Carlos Quentin and home runs from Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez in an 8-0 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. It produced their first three-game streak of the season.

Edwin Jackson pitched seven scoreless innings, and Chris Sale and Will Ohman each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Chris Sale not concerned about velocity

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SEATTLE -- After striking out 32 in 23 1/3 innings down the stretch last season, White Sox reliever Chris Sale has fanned 13 in his first 11 1/3, a slight drop. Opposing batters are hitting .306 against the rookie left-hander, though, compared to .185 last season.

Sale was throwing in the upper 90s last season but he's consistently been closer to the 94-mph range this year. He says he's not concerned and speculates it may improve when the weather warms up during the summer months.

"Yeah, velocity is probably the last thing I'm worried about right now,'' the rail-thin 6-6, 180-pounder said Sunday. "Getting outs is at the top of my to-do list. It will get there. I'm not too worried about where I'm at with velocity. I feel good, my body feels good, my arm feels good.''

Sale and pitching coach Don Cooper looked at 2010 video and identified some minor differences. Sale hopes the adjustments improve his command, which has been a bigger issue than velocity.

"My main focus is not about lighting up the radar gun,'' he said. "Everybody in this league can hit 98. That's no secret. It's a matter of where the pitch is, not how hard it is.''
"I'm just trying to get back into a rhythm and figure out what's the reason behind what's going on.''

Sale hasn't pitched since Monday. He has a 2-0 record with a 7.15 ERA.


Peavy wants to do his share; Sox win

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SEATTLE -- Jake Peavy won't save the Sox but he's eager to grab a bucket and bail water on their sinking ship.

"It's tough,'' the right-hander said of watching the Sox 12-22 start. "There are times in your career when on your fifth day you can come up with an answer to this [and say] 'I'm going to stop the bleeding tonight and throw a shutout.'

"To not even have that opportunity has been tough. I do want to bring some enthusiasm, some fire, some passion. I certainly think the ballclub could use a shot in the arm. I'm not promising anything, by any means, but I can promise you this: we're going to compete on that day -- not to say that we haven't been -- but there's going to be more energy than we've had. [We'll try] to turn things around. We've dug ourselves a pretty nice hole here.''

The Sox beat the Mariners 6-0 on Saturday night. Gavin Floyd (4-2) pitched eight scoreless innings and the offense banged out 17 hits, including four by Alex Rios and three apiece by Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel.

Peavy, recovering from surgery to repair a torn lat, is tentatively scheduled to pitch against the Angels in Anaheim on Wednesday, but manager Ozzie Guillen said the decision won't be made until he and Peavy confer with general manager Ken Williams. Peavy said it's "not etched in stone'' and didn't rule out the possibility of another rehab start.

Asked about a public perception that he's rushing his return, Peavy said, "I'm a competitor. I'm going to pitch if I feel I can pitch. If I' under doctors not to, I won't. But I've been honest with everybody, and we all think I'm as healthy as I can be and strong as I can be out of surgery we don't think we're putting anything at risk.''


Guillen: No gripe with Thornton

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SEATTLE -- Matt Thornton suffered his third loss in relief, giving up four of the Mariners' seven hits in the last two innings, but manager Ozzie Guillen defended his decision to not bring in Sergio Santos in the ninth.

The Mariners were trotting a lot of left-handed hitters to the plate, and besides, Guillen liked the way Thornton was throwing.

"Thornton threw the ball good,'' Guillen said. "I'm very happy the way he throw the ball. Strikeout a few [two] people. But I like the way he throw. I don't want to come here and bring Santos and all of a sudden I'm going to leave my bullpen empty. I don't have another chance. Thornton threw the ball good.''

"I like the way he throw the ball today.''

Guillen: Humber must stay in rotation

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SEATTLE -- If Jake Peavy returns to the White Sox rotation next week, he won't be moving Phil Humber out of it.

"He's staying in the rotation,'' Guillen said after Humber received a no-decision with two runs allowed over seven innings in a 3-2 loss to the Mariners on Friday night. "He has to stay. I don't think we are going to see anything different. When Jake comes in the rotation, we will talk to [general manager] Kenny [Williams] and Coop [pitching coach Don Cooper] to see what we are going to do. But this kid has earned and deserves to be in the rotation.''

Humber lowered his ERA to 2.97 and left with the score tied 2-2. He struck out four and walked three. In his six starts, Humber's ERA is 2.65.

"Just awesome,'' Guillen said. "Great job, and this kid throw the ball well. He's doing more than we thought he would do. I'm very excited for him. Hopefully next time we can score some runs for him. It's a problem we have.''

When told of Guillen's vote of confidence, Humber said, "I don't think about that but I feel like you earn your opportunities and every time you go out there it's a chance to earn another one. Whatever happens, I'm fine with. I told Coop the other day, whenever they give me the ball as a starter or reliever, whatever it is, I'll go out there and do the best I can with it. I don't really worry about what anybody else is thinking.''

Humber was dealing with the effects of a virus and wasn't at his best physically. He said he didn't feel like his legs were under him until the fifth inning.

"I've kind of been under the weather the last couple of days and I didn't have a whole lot to begin with but I felt like I kind of got in a groove in the middle innings here and made some pitches when I needed to,'' he said. "There were some good defensive plays behind me. They hit some balls hard that were right at people. But we had a chance to win the game and as a starting pitcher that's kind of all you can ask for. Obviously I wish I would have given up one run instead of two.''

Adam Dunn: Adjustment to AL tougher than expected

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SEATTLE - Adam Dunn is feeling a little better at the plate. And he's 100 percent healed from his appendectomy - he's had no aftershocks like the Cardinals' Matt Holliday has been dealing with since he had his appendix taken out.

"No, that's not the reason I'm stinking, that's for sure. It's 100 percent healed,'' said Dunn, who was 0-for-2 with two walks in the Sox' 3-2 loss to the Mariners on Friday night.

The biggest reason may well be the adjustment to a new league. On the team's recent homestand, Dunn showed signs of coming out of his slump. He hit a pinch homer. He seemed to take better swings.

"Today was the best I've felt at the plate since I've been here,'' Dunn said after Friday night's loss, a walk-off win for the Mariners on Brendan Ryan's RBI single against former Mariner Matt Thornton (0-3) in the ninth inning. "I felt like me, and not a guy just out there swinging a bat.''

Dunn has been in prolonged slumps before, and considering his adjustment process to a new league and a new role (designated hitter), not to mention a lost week of playing time just when he was finding a rhythm at the plate, it's not a huge shock.

"Oh yeah, I have [been through this before],'' he said. "And it will change. And when it does everything will be right where it should be.

Hitters thrive on what they've seen in the past. It's why rookie callups often look great in a debut - nobody has faced them before - and then level off.

"Yeah, seeing guys for the first time, I knew that was going to be an adjustment,'' Dunn said. "I just didn't know how big of an adjustment it would be. You lose your certain comfort level. You've been in one league for a long time, you see the same teams and you know how they are going to pitch you. Here, every guy I see is someone new.''

Dunn, who had been dropped to fifth in the order when Carlos Quentin got hot, batted third for the third straight game. After slightly shuffling the lineup a little for a week or so, manager Ozzie Guillen went back to his opening-day spot for Dunn.

"Moving everybody up and down, looking for who's hot, who's not, it's not working,'' Guillen said.

In the meantime, Dunn continues to make things work in his new DH role.

"Uh...it's getting there,'' he said. "I just have to figure out a routine that works for me day in and day out. One day do something I'll do something, the next day I'll do the same thing and won't feel loose. So I'm still playing around with that. It's what I thought it would be.''

Peavy throws 7 innings - 6 are perfect

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Jake Peavy pitched six perfect innings -- and one far from perfect -- in a 100-pitch outing for the Class AAA Charlotte Knights on Thursday night.
The former Cy Young Award winner hopes the rehab start against the host Toledo Mud Hens was his last in the minors. He'll rejoin the White Sox in Seattle on Friday and could start Wednesday in Anaheim if his shoulder and surgically repaired lat area continue to feel OK.
Peavy threw 100 pitches over seven innings, including 71 for strikes. In a rocky third inning, he allowed five runs on four hits, including a home run to Ryan Strieby. He also allowed a triple and double in the third, but he breezed through his other six innings, each one three-up, three-down, and finished with five strikeouts and one walk.
"My hopes are up now because everything seems to be going in a better direction,'' Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said Thuesday.
"He's got a chance to be with us five, six days from now. Right now it looks like it could happen.''

Guillen: I'm passenger on crashing Sox plane

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Ozzie Guillen compared managing the White Sox to being on the back of an airplane. A plane that is losing altitude in a hurry.

Before the Sox (11-21) suffered a 3-2 defeat against the Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday afternoon, Guillen talked about his struggling players, who have lost 17 of their previous 21 games. The slump is something of a shock, and while accepting his share of responsibility for it, Guillen, a former player himself, knows it falls squarely on his players' shoulders.

"Those guys got to go fight every day,'' Guillen said. "Every day they have to fight. That's the thing. They are the pilots. We [coaching staff] sitting in the back of the airplane. We gonna crash. Well the plane going to crash because you fall, but I'm gonna crash. I be the first one to die. But I not driving the thing.''

The Sox continued to drive their season into the ground, at least in the early going of Wednesday's game. Less than 24 hours after getting no-hit by the Twins' Francisco Liriano, Juan Pierre led off the game with a single to quickly pitchfork the possibility of back-to-back no-hitters. But Twins starter Nick Blackburn picked off Pierre at first before the next batter, Alexei Ramirez, could even get loose.

In the second inning, Carlos Quentin got doubled off first on A.J. Pierzynski's liner to shortstop.

It was just as messy in the Twins sixth when Omar Vizquel was late covering first on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Matt Tolbert. That put runners on first and second, and both runners advanced a base on Justin Morneau's fly ball to Quentin on the right-field warning track. Span scored on Jason Kubel's sacrifice fly and Tolbert scored on Rene Tosoni's two-out single that made it 3-1.


"You have $120 million reasons and you have 30 reasons about why we not winning,'' Guillen said of the Sox all-time high payroll after he was asked if he's talked to chairman Jerry Reinsdorf lately. "You think I gonna tell Jerry don't do it or why are we doing it? No. They know I try hard... What we can do? Hopefully those guys start to play better.

"He asks the same questions we ask. What happened? What happened? You watched the game. He watch the same game we watch. What we can do about it? Nothing.

"I'm not making any excuse. I don't make any excuse. We suck.''

"A lot of manager of the year get fired. They do. That's why when they gave me my manager of the year award, psh. I don't care about that."

Alex Rios hit his third home run of the season leading off the third inning to forge a 1-1 tie. Jason Kubel drove in the Twins' first run with a single in the first inning against Sox starter John Danks.

Sox consider using six starters

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The Sox have kicked around using some variation of a six-man starting rotation when and if Jake Peavy returns, which could be as soon as next week if the right-hander's rehab start for AAA Charlotte on Thursday goes well.

"We talk about it,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said. "A six-man, we have different ideas. I think we see the good and the bad. We try and figure out the thing that is best for the ballclub. What's best for the pitchers, that's most important.''

Phil Humber's strong performance (2.67 ERA in five starts) as Peavy's stand-in, Peavy's possible need for extra rest and an extra day periodically for a veteran like Mark Buehrle to keep him strong in the second half are reasons why general manager Ken Williams, Guillen and pitching coach Don Cooper have all voiced the potential benefits.

"I don't care either way,'' said Buehrle, who in the past has said he prefers staying on four days rest. "Obviously, I'd like to be out there as much as I can and it's a goal of mine to pitch 200 innings. With the extra day of rest, you should be stronger at the end of the year. But with an extra day, sometimes you feel great, sometimes you don't.''

Asked about it Tuesday, Buehrle said he knew the six-man discussion would come up because Humber has "pitched better than anybody'' in the rotation and that the other four starters "should be knocked out before Humber.''

Using six would likely not fall in the form of a straight rotation. It could entail pushing a starter back if he happens to be facing a team that's a bad matchup. That would also mean the starters would be available on occasion for spot duty in the bullpen.

"We still in the air,'' Guillen said. "We have to wait and see. Really, I don't think it's going to change much. Maybe the guy going to have one more day to rest, but we might do it. I like the idea because I think I give more rest to the guys like Buehrle.''

John Danks hadn't heard of the talk until a reporter brought it up. The idea of changing his routine didn't seem like a great idea to him, and while seeing pros and cons, Danks said, "man, it seems like a long time to wait.''

"I'm not the boss,'' Danks said. "But it would take some getting used to. You want all your starts.''

Sox no-hit by Francisco Liriano

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Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano pitched a no-hitter against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday night.

The Twins won 1-0 behind Liriano (2-4) and Jason Kubel's home run in the fourth inning against Sox right-hander Edwin Jackson.

Liriano walked six and struck out two. He threw 123 pitches, 66 for strikes.

It was the sixth no-hitter in Twins history. It was Liriano's first complete game of his career at any professional level and the 13th no-hitter thrown against the Sox. The last was by the Royals' Bret Saberhagen in 1991.

"Liriano obviously was good,'' Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "When you throw a no-hitter, what can you tell anyone. He was very effective. He was changing speeds. We were chasing his pitches.''

Liriano came in with a 1-4 record and 9.13 ERA, the second highest earned run average of any pitcher going into a game to throw a no-hitter.

"To be honest I was running out of gas," he said. "I just thank my teammates that they made some great plays behind me tonight."


Sox' Sale adjusts, stays positive

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Chris Sale identified minor mechanical flaws in the initial phase of his delivery on Tuesday. The rookie left-hander has tweaked things before with favorable results, so his outlook was both optimistic and realistic.

"This game can speed up on you in a hurry and make you think a lot of bad things,'' said Sale, who gave up a two-run homer to Derrek Lee in the Sox' 6-2 win against the Orioles on Monday.

Pitching coach Don Cooper, bullpen coach Juan Nieves and Sale studied tape and "saw some things that were different from last year and early on this year. I'm going to do everything I can to get back to where I was and where I need to be.''

"Eventually things will turn around.''

Sale's ERA is 7.15 and lefties are 5-for-16 against him. All eyes are on him to see how he deals with adversity.

"Real adversity,'' Sale emphasized. "Yeah, but I'm surrounded by unbelievable guys in this clubhouse who are constantly picking me up, talking with me and helping me out, giving me their viewpoints. We have a great group of guys here and I'm looking forward to keep working with these guys and getting better. It will be there, but it's going to take some time. I have to work on it. I'm anxious to get back out there and get back to where I need to be.''

The Twins led the Sox and starter Edwin Jackson 1-0 through five innings Tuesday. Jackson's only mistake in the first five innings was a 1-2 slider that was up in the strike zone to Jason Kubel. Kuble hit it over the right-field fence for a home run.

Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano, who entered with a 1-4 record and 9.13 ERA, did not allow a hit in the first seven innings.

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