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updated: 4/6/2012 10:31 PM

White Sox off to a slow start

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  • White Sox starting pitcher John Danks stands by as Texas Rangers' Ian Kinsler rounds the bases on a solo home run in the third inning Friday in Arlington, Texas.

      White Sox starting pitcher John Danks stands by as Texas Rangers' Ian Kinsler rounds the bases on a solo home run in the third inning Friday in Arlington, Texas.
    Associated Press

 
 

First impressions from the White Sox' first game of the season -- a 3-2 loss to Texas at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Friday:

•It's only one game, and the rule of the thumb is you give the season two full months before making any definitive judgments.

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Adam Dunn's mammoth home run leading off the sixth inning was the Sox' highlight in the season opener. Starter John Danks was solid, and so were relievers Addison Reed and Matt Thornton for 1 scoreless inning apiece.

•So much for building off that solid September.

Third baseman Brent Morel was 0-for-4 with 4 strikeouts, and he stranded three runners. Morel, who had 8 home runs and 19 RBI during the final month of 2011, also had a tough day in the field.

He booted a groundball for an error in the eighth inning. After the Sox rallied to tie the game with 2 runs in the sixth, Morel couldn't handle a bad-hop grounder in the bottom of the inning to turn a double play.

Texas took advantage, scoring the eventual winning run.

"Obviously, you try to have the days where everything is perfect a lot more than the ones that are like this," Morel told reporters afterward. "It's a 162-game fight, and I lost the first one. But I'm looking forward to getting out there tomorrow."

•Dunn's home run sailed 431 feet into the upper deck in right field and marked the eighth time he has homered on Opening Day.

That ties the Sox' reclamation project with Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Robinson for the all-time lead.

More important for the White Sox -- and Dunn -- it was his first home run since Aug. 4, a span of 93 at-bats.

"I wasn't aware of it," Dunn said of getting in the record books. "That's pretty cool, but again, the object is to win the game. We just couldn't seem to get the big hit."

•The elusive big hit.

The Sox never seemed to get one last year either, and they were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position Friday.

In 2011 the White Sox ranked 11th in the American League with a .239 average with RISP.

•Danks was pretty good, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings.

Rangers leadoff man Ian Kinsler came in with a career .360 average and 3 home runs against the Sox' left-hander, and he inflicted more damage while going 2-for-4 with a home run.

Danks could have been more careful with Kinsler, but poor run support was his biggest problem -- again.

Last season Danks received 3.75 runs per game, the sixth-lowest average in the AL.

•Morel was not good at all Friday, and neither was Gordon Beckham.

The White Sox' second baseman did contribute a single, but he also struck out three times and couldn't hide the bad body language we saw so often last year.

•Third-base coach Joe McEwing is off to a good start.

Alex Rios was on first base with two outs in the sixth inning when Alexei Ramirez singled to left field.

Rios was running on contact, and McEwing exploited David Murphy's limited defensive skills in left. He waved home Rios, who scored standing up.

•Few clues were revealed with the Sox' brewing closer mystery.

Reed pitched the seventh inning and Thornton pitched the eighth, but the White Sox were trailing.

We'll see what happens when they are holding the lead.

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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