Ozzie Guillen: Adam Dunn, Alex Rios need to start producing
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org May 25, 2011 9:42PM
Alex Rios (51) and Adam Dunn (32) need to start producing if the White Sox are going to be competitive, Ozzie Guillen said Wednesday. | AP
Updated: October 16, 2011 12:16AM
ARLINGTON, Texas — The White Sox will not be a player in the American League Central race if Adam Dunn and Alex Rios don’t get on board offensively.
“I don’t want to put heat on any player, but if Rios and Dunn don’t produce or don’t hit the way we think they can hit, it’s going to be tough for us to compete,’’ manager Ozzie Guillen said Wednesday. “It’s going to be hard for the rest of the players.’’
A 2-1 loss to the Texas Rangers in the rubber match of a three-game series was an exercise in missed chances, offensive futility and — depending on how you spin hitting into double plays — bad luck.
Alexei Ramirez, Rios and Brent Morel hit into DPs, and Dunn, who had homered the night before, then got most of the afternoon off, struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch against left-hander Darren Oliver with runners on first and third and one out in the eighth. Dunn pinch-hit for Morel, even though Guillen knew Rangers manager Ron Washington would bring in Oliver to face Dunn, who’s 0-for-32 with 14 strikeouts against lefties.
The left-handed Juan Pierre rapped into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
“I have three righties coming up [after Pierre],’’ Guillen said. “I have to get a chance to make sure they change [pitchers]. But when Adam is at the plate, I don’t care who’s on the mound. We’re feeling very good . . . about this is the day he gets the hit. But he continues to struggle against lefties.’’
Another good chance, against wild closer Neftali Feliz (10th save), presented itself in the ninth. After Ramirez flied out on the first pitch, Carlos Quentin walked on four pitches and Paul Konerko walked on five. Rios hit a flare to short right field that was dropped by second baseman Ian Kinsler, who recovered and got a force-out at third (Quentin had to hold with one out). A.J. Pierzynski ended the game by flying out on a 2-1 pitch that appeared to be out of the strike zone.
“With any chance to do something, we didn’t have the big hit, and it cost us the game,’’ Guillen said.
Dunn is batting .191 and retreating every time he takes a step forward. Rios is batting .206.
“It’s been a tough run,’’ Rios said. “It’s frustrating when you can’t help the team win and help turn things around.”
The Sox had a chance to win a fourth consecutive road series for the first time since 2006, in part because the offense had perked up. The Sox were batting .285 since May 7 going into the game but scratched out six singles. Left-hander C.J. Wilson (5-3, 3.25) faced the minimum 18 batters through the first six innings.
“Everybody has been hitting the ball well and getting some runs,’’ Rios said. “But, for myself, it’s been an ongoing slump from the beginning of the season, and I want to turn it around and start doing well.”