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White Sox’ Alejandro De Aza not sure when he’ll return

Royals pinch runner Jarrod Dysbeats Alexei Ramirez’s tag steal second base eighth inning. | AP

Royals pinch runner Jarrod Dyson beats Alexei Ramirez’s tag on a steal of second base in the eighth inning. | AP

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Updated: September 21, 2012 6:33AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The White Sox are a little banged up. Alejandro De Aza and Kevin Youkilis sat out Sunday, De Aza for the second consecutive day with soreness in his left oblique/rib cage and Youkilis with a sore right knee.

“No improvement,’’ De Aza said. “I’m still feeling it, so I don’t know [when I’ll play again].’’

Youkilis’ knee has sidelined him before.

“I’m just trying to battle through something that’s been barking a little bit,’’ he said.

With 13 pitchers, manager Robin Ventura’s bench was ultra-thin, although he said De Aza and Youkilis could’ve played in an emergency. Catcher Tyler Flowers was the other bench player.

It’s that time of the year. Alexei Ramirez has been playing with his right wrist taped, and others are playing through aches and pains.

“There are other guys with little tweaks you’d like to give a day off to here, and you’re just not able to,’’ Ventura said. “Just have to gut it out.’’


Players, including Adam Dunn, enjoyed watching video of the fan wearing a Youkilis jersey who dove into the waterfall Saturday after Dunn’s 400th home run. In accordance with posted warnings, the fan was escorted from the park and the wet ball returned to the Sox. Dunn said he’d probably give the ball to his parents.

Youkilis was on base with his 1,000th hit for Dunn’s homer.

“It’s pretty cool for the family or friends, but for me personally I would tell you I should have gotten 1,000 a long time ago,’’ Youkilis said. “It’s cool to have the number, but I hope it goes a lot higher than that.’’

Sale’s thoughts

Like everyone else, Chris Sale has watched the S tephen Strasburg innings-limit drama unfold with interest. The latest segment had Washington Nationals teammate Mark DeRosa questioning why the young star right-hander should be shut down after 160-180 innings as the Nats say they will — even though the team is in a pennant race. Sale sees both sides of it.

“Obviously you want to keep someone around as valuable as him as long as you can,’’ Sale said. “He has one of the best arms in baseball. At the same time, you want to play to win this year. I’m glad I don’t have to make that decision. It would be a tough one.’’

Sale is a big fan of Strasburg. He marvels at his ability.

“He’s a huge reason they are where they are,’’ Sale said. ‘‘It would be tough to sit around with important games coming up, your start day comes up and you’re not out there. I know he wants to be out there, too.’’

Sale’s workload also has been the subject of scrutiny, but his situation is different because he’s not coming off Tommy John surgery as Strasburg is.

“I’m not worried about innings or [that it’s] getting late in the year or anything like that,’’ Sale said. “My only thing is, come in, do everything I can for my next time out and get prepared for that day.’’

This and that

The Sox are 4-8 against the Kansas City Royals.

Dayan Viciedo extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

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