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Hot-hitting Jordan Danks improving chances of keeping job next season

Updated: September 30, 2013 2:06PM

Jordan Danks’ recent hot streak earned the left-handed-hitting outfielder some steady playing time.

Danks, who started for the second consecutive night and for the 12th time in August, is batting .333 with two homers, four doubles and five RBI this month. An 0-for-3 night (with a walk and a nice running catch in right center) against the Houston Astros on Wednesday ended a career-high nine-game hitting streak.

Always regarded as one of the top defensive outfielders in the Sox’ system, Danks’ hitting (.245 career average) had lagged. Now he’s forcing the Sox to keep on open mind on him as a backup outfielder next season.

“It’s nice to do it this year, but you come back next year,’’ ­manager Robin Ventura said. “You see what’s there and move on from there. He’s doing a very good job of putting it in our minds that he’s that kind of guy. Production takes care of itself.’’

Danks has good speed, and ­Ventura also cited his at-bats against lefties. He is 2-for-7 with a walk against them this season.

“Good at-bats against lefties make him a better player, and it helps us, too,’’ Ventura said.

Dunn endorsed Manto

Much has been made of Adam Dunn hitting to all fields, “but I don’t think I’ve changed my approach very much,’’ he said. “I’m getting pitched a little bit differently than I have.’’

Dunn, who was batting .292 since June 8, credits hitting coach Jeff Manto for pushing him hard — to the point of heated exchanges between the two — to keep his body in the right position to hit.

“I’m able to get to some balls that, for most of my career, I wasn’t able to get to, and I think that’s a credit to Jeff, getting me all year long in a good hitting ­position,’’ Dunn said.

“It’s having a really good routine and a really good hitting coach that won’t let me get away from what we’re trying to do. Sometimes it’s frustrating and sometimes I’ll yell at him, and he’s really quick to yell right back and say, ‘We’re doing it.’ So it’s good.’’

This and that

Alexei Ramirez had his first day off this season, timed with the off day Thursday to give him a two-day break. Leury Garcia played shortstop and led off.

◆ The Sox wore their 1983 uniforms normally reserved for Sundays. There was no official ­reason, other than that most ­players like them.

Jake Peavy, who was traded in a three-team deal on July 30, will pitch against the Sox on Saturday in Boston. The Sox open a 10-game road trip in Boston, New York and Baltimore after an off day Thursday.

◆ Sox relievers have compiled a 1.91 ERA in the last 17 games. The bullpen’s ERA in the second half is 3.04.


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