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07/08/06 3:20 PM ET

Dye prepares for the Derby

Slugger plans on taking his hacks in All-Star contest

CHICAGO -- Jermaine Dye has only one strategy for the CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby on ESPN -- swing away.

Pittsburgh's PNC Park will play host to Dye's first Home Run Derby appearance. It's a park that Dye had the chance to check out June 27-29, when the White Sox played a three-game set in Pittsburgh. Though Dye did not hit any home runs in that series, he did have offensive success, going 7-for-13 with three doubles.

Dye said that he will try to hit as many home runs as he can in the first round, where players get 10 outs to hit as many home runs as possible. Then, if he advances to the semi-final round, he will only hit as many as he needs to beat his competitor so as not to waste energy for the championship round.

With 24 home runs, Dye sits second on the White Sox to Jim Thome, who has 30, after Thome's fifth-inning home run Saturday. Thome, whose home-run total is second in the American League, declined to participate in the Derby citing past injuries he did not want to aggravate.

White Sox batting practice pitcher Kevin Hickey will be making the trip to Pittsburgh, but Dye says he doesn't want to have to face Hickey during the Derby.

"I don't want to face him," Dye said with a smile. "He gets you out. He's hard to hit off of."

He was content with finding a pitcher from another club to pitch to him.

Facing off against Dye will be Astros first baseman Lance Berkman, Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and Mets third baseman David Wright from the National League. With Dye on the American League side will be Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus, Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada.

Ortiz is leading all of baseball with 31 home runs.

Leslie Parker is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.