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Jesse Crain seems resolved to ‘trade thing’

Jesse Crain

Jesse Crain

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SunDAY

SOX AT ROYALS

The facts: 1:10 p.m., Ch. 9, ­670-AM, 97.5-FM.

The starters: Dylan Axelrod
(3-4, 4.39 ERA) vs. James Shields (2-6, 2.72).

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Of all the teams Jesse Crain would go to if he’s traded before the July 31 dealing deadline, how odd would it be seeing the White Sox right-hander in a Detroit Tigers’ uniform?

The Tigers badly need bullpen help and could do a whole lot worse than having Crain as their closer, even though he’s a setup man. He extended his team record of scoreless appearances to 29 in the Sox’ 3-2 victory Saturday against the Kansas City Royals. Teammate Adam Dunn joked with Crain that he already has studied video in preparation for potential matchups.

“That would be crazy if that happened just because we haven’t played [the Tigers] yet and I’d maybe pitch against them 16 times,’’ Crain said.

Crain, who will be a free agent after the season — which makes him expendable unless the Sox perform a minor miracle in the next few weeks — is enhancing his trade value for general manager Rick Hahn and his own worth in free agency.

“This trade thing coming up is almost like it was this season anyway with being a free agent coming up,’’ Crain said. “It’s all the same. I don’t know what is going to happen. I’m just going to go out there and do the best I can and let things take care of themselves.

“Sometimes you want to think about what the future holds, but you can’t escape it, on any front. It might stress my wife out a little bit, but I still do what I do day by day.’’

Crain pitched out of another stressful situation Saturday. With the score tied in the eighth, Eric Hosmer’s deep fly fell between right fielder Alex Rios and Alejandro De Aza for a triple, for which De Aza took responsibility.

Crain (2-1, 0.53 ERA) got Salvador Perez to pop out and, after walking cleanup man Billy Butler, struck out Lorenzo Cain with runners on second and third.

Beckham rests

With days off Monday and Thursday, manager Robin Ventura meant to give second baseman Gordon Beckham the day off, hoping to give him three in a six-day period. Beckham is playing through lingering soreness from hamate bone surgery on his left hand.

Beckham, who is hitting .318 in his last 15 games, pinch-hit for Tyler Flowers in the ninth with runners on first and second and moved pinch runner Jordan Danks to third with a fly to center.

“You give him a chance to swing the bat, you figure he’s going to get the job done,’’ Ventura said.

Danks scored the go-ahead run on De Aza’s sacrifice fly.

Minor promotion

Right-hander Erik Johnson was promoted to Class AAA Charlotte after going 8-2 with a 2.23 ERA at Class AA Birmingham.



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