White Sox bats starting to get healthy
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org May 20, 2013 10:22PM
White Sox hitter Adam Dunn gets high fives in the dugout after smacking a three-run homer in the first inning of the Chicago White Sox-Boston Red Sox game Monday May 20, 2013 at US Cellular Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: May 21, 2013 5:44PM
Slowly but surely, the White Sox are becoming whole again. Or at least as whole as they can be.
They endured a month without second baseman Gordon Beckham and two months without John Danks.
They also have been without the production of their two top offensive weapons, Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko.
But the last week has seen Dunn start to come alive and Konerko hinting at the same. Plus, Beckham and Danks are expected back soon.
Dunn hit a three-run homer in the first inning Monday off Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, fueling a 6-4 victory and handing Lester (6-1) his first loss of the season.
‘‘When you get opportunities against Lester early, that’s what you have to do,’’ said Dunn, who has 11 homers, including five in the last seven games. ‘‘It was hard to keep saying over and over and over how good I felt with no results. Hopefully, these results keep coming, and people start believing me.’’
The Sox scored two runs in the second on three doubles and an unearned run in the fifth. Those insurance runs were important to manager Robin Ventura.
‘‘To me, that next inning when you get some doubles and score like that, it’s big,’’ he said.
The early lead was big for starter Dylan Axelrod (2-3), who has made his case to stay in the rotation when Danks returns.
‘‘I feel I’ve done a good job so far, so we’ll see,’’ he said after working six innings and giving up only a two-run homer to Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the third. ‘‘I’ve done all that’s been asked of me. I think I’ve shown I belong at this level.’’
The Sox (20-23) have won five of their last seven games, allowing general manager Rick Hahn to be patient judging his team.
‘‘We’ve definitely seen an improvement offensively,’’ he said before the game. ‘‘It’s nice to see that return to playing closer to the level we expected to see.
‘‘We’re close to getting a few guys back health-wise, so hopefully we continue on the roll we’re on now.
‘‘Everyone deals with injuries, and it tests your depth in the course of a long season. At the same time, we’re not making any judgments on this team until we have everyone that we can reasonably expect to see back healthy and playing and seeing if we can play at the level we think we’re capable of playing at.’’
Hahn admits there is always a chance the Sox could become ‘‘sellers’’ by the end of July.
‘‘There is always a possibility. But we’re 42 games into the season, and we are a long way off from making any definite change in direction from selling guys off.
‘‘Is it possible? Sure. But the marching orders for our scouts hasn’t changed from what they were at the end of spring training, and that is look for players who can help the 2013 team be stronger and be in better position to win a championship.
‘‘Until we get this team back and give them the opportunity to play for an extended period of time, there’s no need to make that [trading] judgment.’’