CHICAGO -- Outfielder Alex Rios was named the White Sox winner of the Heart and Hustle Award, given annually by the Major League Baseball Players Association to a member of each team to honor active players who demonstrate a passion for baseball and embody the sport's values, spirit and tradition.
MLB honors a winner from all 30 teams before naming the final winner, which this year will be announced on Nov. 13 at the 13th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City. The event is the main fundraiser for the Legends for Youth Baseball Clinics, which help more than 10,000 children per year.
Rios was presented the award by hitting coach Jeff Manto, who played nine years in the Majors.
Pierzynski sits again, hopes to play Friday night
CHICAGO -- As expected, catcher A.J. Pierzynski was out of the White Sox lineup Wednesday for the second consecutive day because of a mild right oblique strain.
"He could play, but it's just one of those where we don't want him to reinjure it and be out for any longer than he has to be," manager Robin Ventura said.
Pierzynski suffered the injury in Monday's series opener against the Twins while swinging and brought his discomfort to Ventura's attention following the game. The injury doesn't affect Pierzynski while throwing, only hinders him when he swings.
Backup Tyler Flowers, who went 1-for-4 with a walk Tuesday, received consecutive starts for the first time this season.
Ventura said he's hopeful that sitting Pierzynski on Tuesday and Wednesday, coupled with Thursday's off-day, will make the veteran good to go for Friday's series opener vs. the Rangers.
"It's just one of those you never know how bad it's going to be," Ventura said. "For him, he's a tough guy. He could probably play through it, but again, if he injures it worse, he'll probably end up on the DL, so it's just better to be protective of it."
Youk not worried about sprained left ankle
CHICAGO -- Third baseman Kevin Youkilis left the White Sox's 8-2 win over the Twins on Wednesday in the fourth inning after mildly spraining his left ankle rounding first on a third-inning RBI single.
Youkilis said he plans on returning to the lineup for Friday's series opener in Texas against the Rangers. The White Sox have an off-day Thursday.
"It's just a mild sprain. I've played with a lot worse all year," Youkilis said. "Friday I'll be good to go."
Youkilis played the top of the fourth inning before exiting in the bottom of the frame when he was pinch-hit for by Eduardo Escobar.
Day after throwing off mound, Danks feels OK
CHICAGO -- Southpaw John Danks reported no problems the day after he threw off the mound for the first time as he attempts to return from a left shoulder strain.
Danks threw 20 pitches off the mound Tuesday for the first time since being shelved in late May. He felt a bit sore and tight Wednesday, which was expected, but the left-hander is still optimistic with the recent steps he has been taking.
"Last couple days have been an improvement," Danks said. "It's definitely something I've needed, and hopefully we don't backtrack from there."
Danks and general manager Kenny Williams have expressed hopefulness the lefty can return by late August, while manager Robin Williams said Wednesday that Danks' return isn't necessarily on his radar.
"I would love for him to be back, but I can't even go down the road of worrying if I can count on him for this," Ventura said. "I want him to be healthy first before we do anything."
Ventura knows umpires try to get all calls correct
CHICAGO -- The White Sox seventh-inning comeback Tuesday began with a questionable call in right field, when the Twins' Darin Mastroianni slid for a sinking line drive off the bat of Alejandro De Aza.
First-base umpire Angel Hernandez originally called De Aza's ball a single before huddling with fellow umpires and ruling that Mastroianni caught it. Both White Sox manager Robin Ventura and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire argued the call.
On replays, the ball appeared to graze the grass before going into Mastroianni's glove, but Ventura said Wednesday he was fine with how the umpiring crew came to an agreement.
"You just want it to be done right. I think that's the thing. You want all the calls to be right, and it hasn't always been that way," Ventura said. "It's not always easy. I think last night, Angel thought he had [the right call] but the other guys didn't think he had it so it's just one of those things.
"Luckily we kind of overcame that and didn't succumb to feeling like, 'You're going up against something you couldn't overcome.' Just get it right, I think that's the biggest thing they're looking for."
Similar trapping plays have been discussed as a possible addition to instant replay but haven't been adopted. Ventura said in Tuesday's instance the crew did all they could.
"For calls like that, if they get together and discuss it, that's all you're pretty much going to be able to ask them to do," Ventura said.
First to third
Adam Dunn, who hit his 30th home run of the season Tuesday, has eight 30-homer seasons, fourth most among active players. Only Alex Rodriguez (14), Jim Thome (12) and Albert Pujols (11) have more.
Chicago's Nos. 3-5 hitters -- Dunn, Paul Konerko and Alex Rios -- entered Wednesday hitting .514 with six homers, 16 RBIs and 13 runs scored in the team's last three games.