CHICAGO -- John Danks took "a big step" in his recovery from a left shoulder strain Tuesday, throwing off the mound for the first time since being sidelined in May.

The White Sox left-hander, who has been on the disabled list retroactive to May 20, threw 20 pitches off the mound prior to Chicago's game against Minnesota. Danks also threw off flat ground from 130 feet and termed the day's events "a big step."

"[Getting] on a mound was something I hadn't done in quite a while. All in all, I'd say it was a good day," Danks said. "Am I ready to go pitch somewhere? No. This is a necessary step. And hopefully tomorrow it bounces back and that will tell us what we need to know."

White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper also was pleased with the day's results.

"He wasn't coming out of his shoes or anything like that but, again, for us to do what we did today, it's definitely a step," Cooper said.

On Monday, general manager Kenny Williams said he'd like to give Danks a "Spring Training-type regimen," as he hopes to get the lefty back in August. Danks agreed with the Spring Training comparison, admitting he felt like he was "starting from scratch."

Because of that, Danks couldn't give a solid timetable for a comeback, but would be happy with a late-August return.

"I hope late August, but this is uncharted territory for me. I've never dealt with a shoulder injury, so I can't give you a straight answer," Danks said. "But, certainly, that's the hope. Get back in time for the stretch run and hopefully be strong enough and help push us into the playoffs."

Pierzynski likely back in lineup on Friday

CHICAGO -- White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was out of the starting lineup Tuesday and won't play Wednesday because of a mild right oblique strain.

Pierzynski sustained the injury while swinging during Chicago's 7-4 win against the Twins on Monday.

The injury doesn't affect Pierzynski defensively, but it bothers him at the plate.

"He won't play tomorrow, just to be safe," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said following Tuesday night's 11-4 win. "It's just one of those things you've got to monitor and make sure that it doesn't get worse. I would see him tomorrow and then having the off-day [on Thursday] and then being ready on Friday."

Pierzynski, 35, leads all American League catchers in RBIs (50) and slugging percentage (.507), while ranking second in batting average (.287), home runs (16) and runs scored (40).

Backup Tyler Flowers started Tuesday in place of Pierzynski.

Ventura's focus 'on playing with what we got'

CHICAGO -- General manager Kenny Williams said Monday the White Sox would go after a top pitcher, if possible, before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Manager Robin Ventura would be thrilled to get a top-of-the-rotation arm for the stretch run, but said Tuesday he isn't banking on such a decision and is prepared to battle the first-place Tigers and third-place Indians with what he has.

"I don't think anybody can plan on what's going to happen, so, for me, it's just do [what you can] with the people that we have," Ventura said. "I think that's all we can do, is play. The front office, they've got to do what they've got to do. They're looking, but you're not always going to get what you'd like to have. So, for us, the focus is on playing with what we got."

Third to first

• Former White Sox utility man Brent Lillibridge, who was sent to Boston with right-hander Zach Stewart for third baseman Kevin Youkilis in June, was traded to Cleveland on Tuesday after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox last week.

"It's good for him, to be able to catch on and be on a big league roster is the most important step for him," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

• Minor League outfielder Jared Mitchell, the club's first-round Draft pick in 2009 (23rd overall), has been promoted to Triple-A Charlotte. Mitchell hit .240 with 13 doubles, 13 triples, 10 home runs and 54 RBIs in 94 games for Double-A Birmingham.

• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Monday was only the second time since 2010 that the White Sox 3-4-5 hitters -- Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Alex Rios on Monday -- each homered in the same game. The White Sox also accomplished the feat earlier this year, on May 19 against the Cubs.