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Leyland asks Sox’ Ventura to be third-base coach for All-Star Game

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Updated: July 12, 2013 8:24PM



DETROIT — Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who will manage the American League in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, extended an invitation to White Sox manager Robin Ventura to coach third base.

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea,’’ said Ventura, who has no experience in the coach’s box. “We’ll see when we get there. He said I can do whatever I want, but we’ll see.’’

Ventura, who played for the Yankees and Mets, is looking forward to the trip to Citi Field. His family will join him, including his oldest daughter, who’s doing an internship in New York.

“It’s a great place to have the All-Star Game, and I’m excited to go,’’ said Ventura, who will be joined by Chris Sale and Jesse Crain (who won’t pitch because he’s on the disabled list). “It’s a great event. I think anybody that’s asked to go, you should go. It’s that fun.’’

Look for Ventura to pass on coaching third.

Phegley all the rage

Catcher Josh Phegley’s grand slam against Anibal Sanchez was his third homer after blasts against David Price and Matt Garza .

All good.

“Oh, man, my only hit of the series,’’ Phegley said. “I really needed that for the series and to get going again offensively, especially for Sale. We needed to get him a win. He threw well and deserved it.’’

Ventura said letting Phegley catch Sale was like giving a kid the keys to a nice car. Phegley was amused.

“He has electric stuff,’’ Phegley said. “I wasn’t stressing, but I knew I had to be on my A-game and focus to deal with his stuff. After catching him in the bullpen, I was comfortable.’’

Peavy to minors

Jake Peavy will make a rehab start for Class AA Birmingham at Huntsville on Sunday. Peavy preferred to pitch in Philadelphia, but the Sox want to make sure his endurance is good.

“Let him go get a start,’’ Ventura said. “See how that goes. He pitched with the rib in Seattle, so it’s one of those where you want to make sure it’s good and he can go a long time [and not] where he goes out in the third inning and starts hurting.’’

Ventura said the rotation after the All-Star break hasn’t been determined. Dylan Axelrod, who has allowed 29 earned runs in 28 innings, including 11 homers, could be the odd man out of the rotation when Peavy comes back.

“As of right now, he’s still going to pitch,” Ventura said. “At some point, with Jake coming back, who knows how we’re going to go. We’ll see that and decide that when we get closer to it.”

Baines praises Ortiz

David Ortiz broke Harold Baines’ record for hits by a designated hitter Wednesday, and Baines, the assistant hitting coach and former Sox great, tipped his cap Thursday.

“He’s a great hitter,’’ Baines said.

“I’m most impressed with how he uses the whole field. He’s a power hitter, but he takes his singles. He knocks in a lot of runs. He’s a complete hitter.’’

Baines, who encountered a succession of knee problems beginning in 1986, said the DH role saved his career.

“It added 11 more years,’’ he said.



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