CLEVELAND -- An overnight toothache produced a Saturday morning visit to the dentist for John Danks. But after having clean-up done on an old root canal, Danks and manager Ozzie Guillen gave the all-clear for his start in Sunday afternoon's series finale at Progressive Field.
"This kid pitches with all kinds of stuff," Guillen said. "He goes out there and he's a warrior. He goes out there and fights."
"It got infected. I guess it wasn't sealed up right, or whatever," said Danks on the toothache cause. "We pretty much did the same thing. Just went in there and cleaned it up, put some medicine in there. It's fine. I was in the chair for an hour. It's not a big deal."
Guillen pointed to Phil Humber as the spot-starter instead of moving the other starters up one day if an unexpected problem arose. Guillen wasn't planning on any sort of change, and Danks was actually back with the team before the start of Saturday's 8-3 victory.
"Maybe he has to take pills for the pain," said a smiling Guillen. "And maybe he pitches better."
Pierre's dirty work helps mashers clean up
CLEVELAND -- The fraternity of leadoff men who base their game primarily on speed, getting on base and scoring runs is a dwindling group, but one counting Juan Pierre as a member in excellent standing. Pierre actually prefers to have his game stay on the back burner, but admits to being in a better place at the start of 2011 because his teammates know more about what he's doing.
For example, Pierre opened the season for the White Sox offense by getting down in the count, 0-2, to Fausto Carmona, fouling off two pitches and then lining a single to center. Pierre scored the first of 15 White Sox runs and would add another run scored after drawing a walk from Carmona during the eight-run fourth.
"As long as [Adam] Dunn and [Paul] Konerko get those RBIs, I'm OK scoring runs and them getting more of the attention," Pierre said. "You would hope as far as people building teams goes, they appreciate what I do so I can keep a job here. As far as publicly and media-wise, I don't need it. Just go out and do the dirty work."
This present year marks the last in Pierre's five-year, $45 million deal agreed to with the Dodgers and finished off with the White Sox. Pierre doesn't think much about contract extensions, putting his faith in a higher power.
His focus is on a better and more comfortable second year with the White Sox, after hitting .275 and leading the Majors in stolen bases during the 2010 campaign.
"Unfortunately, I've been on a lot of first years with teams," said Pierre, who also has played for the Rockies, Marlins and Cubs. "That second year, guys know what you like to do and I know what they like to do. It's not a shock or surprise.
"Dunn comes here and you know what he's about. He has one thing on his mind and that's doing damage. With me bunting and running, there are a lot of parts of my game people aren't used to and maybe questioning when I do stuff. Now, everyone sees the way I play and go out there. I have that comfort of knowing guys and they know you."
Morel enjoys living under the radar
CLEVELAND -- A local Cleveland sports anchor, trying and failing to be funny on Friday's late newscast, punctuated highlights of the White Sox 18-hit attack by talking about "some guy named Brent Morel" driving in two runs during the Indians' 15-10 loss on Opening Day.
"Some guy" might eventually work his way into American League Rookie of the Year talk, with a no-nonsense, up-the-middle approach on offense complementing his stellar third-base defense. Morel had two hits and two RBIs in the opener and took away a hit from Orlando Cabrera on a slow roller. But Morel couldn't pick a most impressive moment from this group of highlights.
"You can't go wrong either way," Morel said.
"Like I said, I don't expect him to hit. I hope he does. Wow, that would be awesome," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of Morel. "If this kid swings the bat up the middle and does the little things, this kid is going to be good."
As for not getting the same sort of rookie hype as Tampa Bay's Jeremy Hellickson, Toronto's J.P. Arencibia or even teammate Chris Sale, the third-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft doesn't seem to mind.
"I've pretty much flown under the radar my whole career," Morel said. "So it's nothing new for me."
Buehrle strikes out on whiffing Indians
CLEVELAND -- After striking out just 99 hitters during the 2010 season, Mark Buehrle set a humorous goal of at least reaching 100 in this particular 2011 category. Buehrle still needs 100 strikeouts to hit that target following his victorious six-inning effort over the Indians on Opening Day.
"I'm right on schedule," said Buehrle with a laugh. "One walk and no strikeouts.
"Any pitcher likes to strike out guys. But if I get early contact and keep the pitch count down, that's how you go late in games. It's funny how you go out there and go that long without striking out a guy. They were swinging early in counts, so I didn't get too many two-strike counts."
Buehrle's next victory will be No. 150 for his illustrious career, against just 110 losses. He also needs 13 strikeouts to reach 1,300, which might take a few starts to amass.
"You would like to give the defense a break every once in a while and strike a guy out," Buehrle said. "But I'm not a strikeout guy."
Historical offensive tidbits from Opening Day
CLEVELAND -- Courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau, here are a few more Opening Day marks set by the White Sox during Friday's 15-10 victory.
The 14 runs scored in the first four innings was a Major League record for Opening Day. In 1890, Buffalo, in the short-lived Players League, scored 16 runs.
Carlos Quentin's five RBIs tied Sammy Sosa (1991) for second most by a White Sox player on Opening Day, behind Minnie Minoso's six in 1951.
Adam Dunn's four RBIs tied Al Zarilla (1951) and George Metkovich (1949) for most by a player in his White Sox debut.
Quentin and Dunn became the first pair of White Sox teammates with four-plus RBIs on Opening Day since Zarilla and Gus Zernial in 1951.