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Adam Dunn pitches ninth inning in Sox’ 16-0 loss to Rangers



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

The pitchers: Nick Tepesch
(3-7, 4.84 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (10-1, 2.09).

Updated: September 7, 2014 6:40AM

When your team allows 16 runs twice in three games before the hometown fans, all you can do is try to provide some comic relief. That’s what White Sox manager Robin Ventura did Tuesday by letting 6-6, 285-pound Adam Dunn pitch the ninth inning.

Dunn, a former high school fireballer and college football quarterback-turned-volunteer soft tosser, gave up a meaningless run in the Sox’ 16-0 loss to the Texas Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field.

‘‘Hopefully it will send guys home with something to laugh about because the job I did to start the game and the tone I set didn’t really have us in the direction of giving us anything to laugh about,’’ a dejected John Danks said after yielding nine runs and four home runs in 42/3 innings.

When Dunn took the mound, many among the 21,827 fans who stuck around despite having nothing to cheer about were on their feet, yelling on every pitch. Winning over some new fans, Dunn played to the moment, throwing an 81 mph pitch for a called strike to Elvis
Andrus on his first offering, then snapping his glove on the return throw from catcher Adrian Nieto in mock disgust after not getting the call (it wasn’t really close) on the next pitch.

‘‘At that point, we didn’t have anybody to put up six runs, so he was the guy,’’ said manager Robin Ventura, who gave Dunn — who has hit 457 career homers — the first pitching appearance of his career. ‘‘Hard to have fun at that point. It loosens it up a little bit.’’

On a more serious note, Danks saw his steadily climbing ERA rise to 4.93, a far cry from the 3.99 it sat at during the All-Star break. He allowed homers to Adrian Beltre, Robinson Chirinos (two) and J.P. Arencibia to hike his total to 23, the second-most in the majors.

Afterward, he insisted he feels fine physically.

‘‘I felt great,’’ Danks (9-7) said. ‘‘It’s a shame to go out there and get your butt kicked on a night that
you feel so good.

‘‘For the most part, I felt like I was able to make the ball do whatever I wanted, throw it where I wanted to. Obviously, there were a few mistakes that got hit hard.’’

Danks wasn’t alone in that
regard. Maikel Cleto, Andre Rienzo
and Eric Surkamp each gave up a run or more in relief. Rienzo
allowed four.

The always-accommodating Dunn bolted quickly after the game, leaving the interviews for Wednesday.

Right-hander Colby Lewis (8-8) pitched a six-hitter for the Rangers.

NOTES: Pitching coach Don Cooper, who still is dealing with the effects of vertigo, missed his 13th game and might miss the upcoming trip to Seattle and San Francisco.

† Outfielder Alejandro De Aza, who fouled a pitch off his left knee Monday, didn’t play but should be ready for the series finale Wednesday. Second baseman Gordon Beckham was given a day off.

† Outfielder Avisail Garcia had three hits, including a homer, and relievers Matt Lindstrom and Zach Putnam each pitched a scoreless inning for Class AAA Charlotte in their respective injury-rehab stints. The relievers should join the Sox later this week.

† The 2015 schedule will be out this month, and American League Central teams will match up against the National League Central. That means the Sox and Cubs will play each other six times.

† Picnic in the Park has been
rescheduled for Aug. 17.


Twitter: @CST_soxvan

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