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posted: 5/12/2012 10:11 PM

Sox' Morel better as he deals with back pain

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  • White Sox starter Chris Sale delivers a pitch Saturday against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning.

      White Sox starter Chris Sale delivers a pitch Saturday against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning.
    Associated Press

 
 

The White Sox know all about third basemen and back injuries.

Joe Crede's promising career was cut short after he had multiple surgeries to repair herniated discs.

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Brent Morel has a bulging disc in his back, not good but not nearly as serious as a herniated disc.

Instead of discussing surgical options, Morel had a cortisone shot Thursday. He didn't play Wednesday at Cleveland or Friday against Kansas City, but the 25-year-old third baseman was back in the lineup Saturday.

Morel, who came in hitting .172, snapped an 0-for-10 slide with a single in his first at-bat. He said he started feeling back pain during spring training, and the injury seems to be bothering him at the plate.

"I would think so," Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You could tell even the way he was moving around and swinging (Friday), he was a little freer with everything he was doing."

Dunn doings:

Maybe it was some medicine-ball work during spring training.

More likely, Adam Dunn's big rebound season is the result of knowing the American League better and adjusting to being a designated hitter.

"Never having been a DH before last year, it was different," Dunn said. "I think I've learned how to prepare in between at-bats. I feel a lot more comfortable."

Dunn was 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts Saturday, but he entered the game tied for second in the American League with 11 home runs and fourth with 26 RBI.

"He's on a nice roll," manager Robin Ventura said. "He's had some good at-bats. You look at the path of his bat when he's hitting, he's in a nice spot."

As the season progresses, Dunn's miserable 2011 showing is all but forgotten.

"He's more concerned about hitting the ball," Ventura said. "He's been very good at putting last year behind him and just playing baseball. He's not worrying about last year or trying to outdo last year or anything like that.

"It's more of playing the game, and he makes it pretty simple. It's not always easy for a lot of people to do, but he's been great at just making it simple for himself."

Bullpen shuffle:

Jesse Crain (strained left oblique) is scheduled to make his second rehab appearance with Class AAA Charlotte on Sunday. The veteran reliever pitched 1 scoreless inning Friday.

If Crain is feeling good, he could come off the disabled list before Monday night's game against the Detroit Tigers. Eric Stults likely would be sent back to Charlotte to open a roster spot.

Local flavor:

Naperville's Gina Glocksen, a former "American Idol" finalist, performed the national anthem before Saturday night's game.

Aurora's Cori Cammarano, a breast cancer survivor, will serve as Honorary Bat Girl before Sunday's game in honor of Mother's Day.

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