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Sox’ six-man rotation gets thumbs up from Humber

GordBeckham forces out Eric Hosmer before making pivot first for double play Wednesday night. | Jamie Squire~Getty Images

Gordon Beckham forces out Eric Hosmer before making the pivot to first for a double play on Wednesday night. | Jamie Squire~Getty Images

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Updated: July 21, 2011 2:16AM



KANSAS CITY, Mo. — John Danks’ return put the White Sox back into their so-far, so-good six-man rotation Wednesday night. There have been few, if any, complaints from the starters about the unusual plan, which figures to keep pitchers stronger in August and September.

“I feel good; I feel strong; I feel like I have a lot left in the tank,’’ said right-hander Philip Humber, whose 113 innings leave him five or six starts from his professional (minor-league) high of 150.

“My arm has felt better than it has in years past, even in the minor leagues. Some of that is extra rest, and some of it is the maintenance program that [trainer] Herm [ Schneider] has for us.’’

The six-man rotation stemmed from Humber’s surprise ascension as an All-Star candidate, coupled with the extra rest it affords Jake Peavy as he comes back from surgery. The Sox also don’t mind giving veteran Mark Buehrle and Gavin Floyd — who has had sore-hip issues in the past — extra rest.

Because of disabled-list time for Peavy and Danks, the Sox have gone through five-man rotations, as well. But since April, Humber has made only two starts on four days’ rest. Buehrle has made three.

“I haven’t heard any complaints,’’ Humber said. “I haven’t heard anybody say anything bad about it at all. Everybody feels pretty good about it as long as we’re throwing the ball good.’’

Dunn has sore knee

With Bruce Chen pitching for the Royals, Adam Dunn sat out a second consecutive game against a left-hander. Alexei Ramirez was the designated hitter, and 44-year-old, 11-time Gold Glove winner Omar Vizquel played shortstop.

Dunn has been in the trainer’s room the last couple of days because of a sore knee, but it’s not believed to be something that would keep him from playing. The combination of Chen pitching and Dunn’s slump were bigger reasons, but manager Ozzie Guillen said the day off today would allow three days for the knee to get better before the weekend series in Cleveland.

“It’s a very important series for us, and hopefully he can go there,’’ Guillen said. “A couple of days hopefully will help him.”

Dunn took batting practice and shagged fly balls before the game.

Notes

Backup catcher Ramon Castro (broken right hand, index finger) underwent a follow-up exam at Rush Medical Center and will undergo an eight-to-12-week rehabilitation process, effectively ending his season.

◆ Right-hander Tony Pena, on a rehab assignment at Class AAA Charlotte, left his outing after throwing four pitches Wednesday with more discomfort in his elbow. He will be re-evaluated today.

Brent Morel started at third base against Chen, but expect left-handed-hitting Mark Teahen to play against Indians right-handers Carlos Carrasco and Justin Masterson on Friday and Sunday.

Juan Pierre’s .385 average from June 26 through Tuesday was the best in the majors. Pierre was 30-for-78 with three doubles, two triples, 10 RBI and 11 runs in that stretch.

◆ The postponed game against the Twins from June 14 has been rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader Sept. 5 at Target Field. Game times are 1:10 and 7:10.



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