Manager Robin Ventura shuffles Sox’ lineup
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com August 14, 2012 9:48PM
Alexei Ramirez; Anthony Gose; Yunel Escobar
The facts: 6:07, CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The pitchers: Gavin Floyd (8-9, 4.43 ERA) vs. Ricky Romero (8-9, 5.32).
Updated: September 16, 2012 6:24AM
TORONTO — A night after the White Sox’ 3-2, 11-inning loss in which their only runs came on home runs by Adam Dunn, manager Robin Ventura shuffled the lineup for the game Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Dewayne Wise started in left field and batted second, with Alex Rios moving up to third and Dunn dropping a spot to fourth. Kevin Youkilis batted fifth.
‘‘We’ve hit a lot of homers, and guys might get comfortable trying to do that,’’ said Ventura, whose team ranks third in the major leagues with 146 homers. ‘‘We need to generate and manufacture runs to win games. It’s too hard to sit there and rely on home runs all the time.’’
First baseman Paul Konerko resumed baseball activities Tuesday in Chicago and might return from a concussion Friday. The absence of Konerko, the regular cleanup man, also factored into the lineup changes. Rios has hit fifth all season, but he was moved to fourth when Konerko went out last week.
Ventura downplayed the changes and said his players had little reaction when the lineup was posted. He didn’t see a need to discuss it with them.
‘‘Just a chance to kind of change it a little,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ll probably go back to what people are used to when Paulie gets back.’’
Change of approach
Dunn has made a career of taking a lot of pitches and working deep into counts, which is one reason he strikes out a lot. He lined the second pitch he saw Tuesday to right for a single, signaling a new approach he talked about before the game.
Looking for a specific pitch instead of for a location ‘‘steers me away from being aggressive early, which obviously gets me into bad counts,’’ Dunn said.
Dunn was a .243 career hitter entering the season. He attributed his .208 average this season to fouling off so many good pitches and said he doesn’t think he’s having a good season despite having 33 homers and 78 RBI.
‘‘Yeah, I definitely feel that way,’’ he said. ‘‘I know I’m capable of doing so much more. It’s frustrating that when I feel as good as I do, things are what they are.
‘‘Still have two big months. . . . I just want to get hot. It’s fun when you get hot. If I get hot, I’ll be happy.’’
Dunn is trying to become the first Sox player to lead the majors in homers. Bill Melton and Dick Allen (twice) led the American League in homers during the early 1970s.
This and that
Third baseman Brent Morel went on the disabled list at Class AAA Charlotte with an eye infection.
† The Sox agreed to terms on a minor-league deal with 28-year-old infielder Jose Lopez, a career .262 hitter with 92 homers in nine big-league seasons.
† Dunn and right-hander Jake Peavy posed for pictures with actor Charlie Sheen, who took batting practice before the game. Sheen later visited the Sox’ clubhouse.
† The time for the Sox’ game Aug. 30 in Baltimore has been set for 12:35 p.m.