CHICAGO -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen met with struggling designated hitter Adam Dunn on Monday and let him know that he was going to ride the hot hands with every game meaning so much in the ballclub's attempt to catch Detroit.Dunn is hitting .163 with 156 strikeouts, meaning the left-handed slugger could be on the bench for the foreseeable future.
"We had a little chat. It was nice. He understands my point. I understand his point," Guillen said. "When you have communication, people know what you have in mind. Like I said in the past, and I keep saying it, I did it to a few players, I'm not going to kick the guy when he's down. I will figure out how I will play him. I will figure out the best chance for him and the club."
Guillen said that Dunn could be used as a pinch-hitter, but it would depend on the situation. He also informed Dunn that he needs to stay prepared and not think the team forgot about him.
"I told him, 'I promise you I'm not going to talk down to you. I'm going to put you in the right place,'" Guillen said. "Check over the years, when somebody's not playing good for you or not for me, for any manager, it's the hitting coach, it's the pitching coach. It's somebody else's fault and they never blame themselves.
"He did. He said, 'Listen, I'm not playing the way I thought I would play.' He knows."
Konerko gets back to first base
CHICAGO -- After 22 straight starts at designated hitter, brought about by a sore left calf/knee, White Sox captain Paul Konerko returned to first base for Monday's 3-0 victory over the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field.
Konerko felt ready to test the injury on the field, and manager Ozzie Guillen said that Konerko could get Tuesday off or go back to DH if he felt sore following this effort. But Konerko wants his return to be a permanent one through the remainder of the 2011 campaign.
"I don't want it to be where I play for a day and need three off," said Konerko, who was replaced by Brent Lillibridge in the ninth inning after going 1-for-4. "I want to be out there every day. I just felt like right now is the best time to give it a chance."
"He wants to be out there, and I appreciate he wants to be out there," said Guillen. "The reason we put him out there was because I think he went through every drill at first base and he felt pretty good, not great."
During the previous 15 games, Konerko produced a .407 average with two homers and eight RBIs. But moving from first base to strictly hitting wasn't an easy adjustment.
"It took me probably a good 2 1/2 weeks to get my bearings," Konerko said. "I feel like now, if I have to do it, I have a pretty good routine to go about it that can kind of work at home and on the road.
"That's the tricky part, that you get different stadiums and if you're married to a different routine, it can get you. Right now, I have a pretty good routine and know how to go about it. I just don't want to have to do it. But hopefully first base works out and just go and play it and don't get any more days off or DHs than I did before."
Beckham encouraged by Sunday's at-bats
CHICAGO -- Gordon Beckham has gone 8-for-52 in his last 16 games, including Monday's 0-for-2 effort with a walk during a 3-0 victory over the Twins. So two hits against the Mariners on Sunday and three good plate appearances qualify as "uplifting" for the White Sox second baseman, who has been looking for a feel at the plate all year.
"I'll get it, and then it will go as soon as it came," Beckham said. "I'm hoping that this is going to stick for a good month, and hopefully, I can help this team win. I know if I play well, I can do that."
While most of the offensive woes for the White Sox have centered on the dreadful showings from veterans Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, Beckham has not performed up to his personal standards with the bat. Having a .234 average and 34 RBIs with just one month of the season to play certainly has worn on him.
"Yeah, it's frustrating, and it does wear me down when it's the end of August, and I'm supposed to have these great years and you kind of look up and it's not what I expected," Beckham said. "So it's frustrating for me to not do what I've been capable. I know it's in there and it came out [on Sunday].
"It's just a matter where I'm still learning. It's a process, and I wish it wasn't. Just keep battling. You go day in and day out and really don't have a lot of success, and you go out there and try to grind it out and figure out what's the problem. Then something like [Sunday] happens and hopefully it will turn it all around. That's the optimistic way I'm kind of thinking."
Youngsters bringing energy, delivering results
CHICAGO -- For a team with a Minor League system consistently criticized for a lack of Major League help or not possessing viable prospects, youth certainly has been served for the White Sox over the past month.
Alejandro De Aza injected life into the dormant offense when he arrived on July 27. Tyler Flowers has shown great skill behind the plate as an injury replacement for A.J. Pierzynski, and Dayan Viciedo made his presence felt immediately on Sunday. Flowers' grand slam and Viciedo's three-run shot against the Mariners caused Ozzie Guillen to refer to the current White Sox as the Chicago Knights, which is the Triple-A team's nickname.
"It was a White Sox win. The whole organization contributed," said Flowers, who has put Charlotte behind him since his call to the Majors. "Like I said, since Day 1 when A.J. went down, I'm not too worried about hitting .300 or .250 or anything like that. I'm worried about our pitchers out there and learning as much as I can."
A smiling Viciedo said that Charlotte players were all watching De Aza when he homered to beat the Tigers in his first White Sox game. Viciedo would have preferred to be up with the White Sox getting at-bats earlier, but he's simply focused on helping presently.
"This is what you play the game for," said Viciedo through translator Jackson Miranda. "Whenever you get called up and how many at-bats you get, you want to contribute. For me, staying down there was what they wanted me to do and I was happy to do that. Being called up now is even better."The trio of Viciedo, De Aza and Flowers combined to go 5-for-8 with three RBIs and two runs scored in Monday's 3-0 victory against the Twins.
Third to first
General manager Ken Williams had a very simple take on what the White Sox need to do to catch the Tigers over the season's final month. "We need to win series, and sweep a few," Williams said. Monday's 3-0 victory for the White Sox over the Twins was played in two hours and four minutes, the team's shortest nine-inning game this season. Left-hander Mark Buehrle is 5-1 with a 2.25 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break and 6-2 with a 2.33 ERA at home in 2011.