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Peeved Greg Walker defends Sox hitters: ‘We’re not that bad’

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



DETROIT — In a passionate defense of his boys, hitting coach Greg Walker defended the White Sox hitters before their game Saturday against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

“Actually, I think our scuffles are way overblown,’’ Walker said. “We’re averaging five runs a game. We’re fourth in the league in runs scored. We got a couple high-profile guys who haven’t got going yet. One of them [Adam Dunn] got operated on [April 6]. I’m not worried. We’re good. .  .  . I’m just sort of sick of the negative [stuff], I really am. We’re not that bad.’’

Then the Sox went out and got no-hit into the sixth inning by Brad Penny in their 9-0 loss. Brent Morel’s infield single broke it up, and a good throw by Brandon Inge would have got him.

Walker pointed to the list of starting pitchers the Sox have faced in their streak of nine losses in 10 games, a list that includes Jared Weaver, Dan Haren, David Price, James Shields and Justin Verlander.

“We faced the toughest pitching. You said that, and you guys are smart,’’ Walker told reporters. “Sit down and figure out who is going to be [pitching] in the All-Star Game this year.’’

Penny came in with an 0-2 record and 8.44 ERA but looked like an All-Star against the Sox.

“I’m not taking anything away from him, he did his job, but collectively we’re not swinging the bats,’’ Sox left fielder Juan Pierre said.

The Sox are batting .189 with 32 runs in their last 12 games. Among the slumping: Gordon Beckham is in a 2-for-23 slide, Dunn is 4-for-42,
Alex Rios 0-for-20 and Alexei Ramirez 1-for-18.

Walker said Dunn, who was signed to a four-year, $56 million contract in the offseason, will be fine soon. His issues are “timing and direction,’’ Walker said.

“Hey, the guy was a dominant force until he had an appendectomy,’’ Walker said. “He’s had, what, six, seven, eight days back? Sit around and watch. He’ll be fine.’’

“His timing is off. He’s a big man. He’s got a lot of moving parts. He’s got to get his timing back. Because his timing is off, he’s been getting beat and cheating, trying to get the fastball. When he starts hitting fastballs, watch out. Because a lot of people are going to pay.”

‘One of those days’

Starter Edwin Jackson
(2-2) allowed eight runs and 12 hits in 52/3 innings, following Mark Buehrle’s subpar start with another dud.

“Today was one of those days,’’ Jackson said. ‘‘It seems like the past three starts I’ve been leaving things up in the zone. I get ahead, and I can’t put anybody away.’’

Notes

Manager Ozzie Guillen said Omar Vizquel, Brent Lillibridge and Mark Teahen will probably be in the lineup today. Lillibridge will likely play center field in place of Rios, who struggled in center and at the plate.

◆ The Sox have lost eight straight to the Tigers dating to last season.



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