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posted: 3/24/2013 12:24 AM

White Sox' Crain encouraged after throwing

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Finally, some good news for relief pitcher Jesse Crain.

That, in turn, is good news for the White Sox.

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It has been nearly a month since Crain strained his right adductor in his lone Cactus League appearance, but the veteran right-hander was feeling great after working 2 innings and throwing an estimated 20 pitches in a minor-league game Saturday.

"My leg didn't act up, I didn't feel anything," Crain said. "It felt good. I feel like it was a step forward for sure and I think I'm getting in a game Monday, a real game."

While his chances of breaking camp on the Sox' 25-man roster remain iffy at best, Crain hasn't been completely inactive while rehabbing his latest injury.

"The good thing is I've been able to play catch," Crain said. "I've been able to keep my arm in shape the whole time.

"Even the times I got on the mound and my leg bothered, I've still been able to at least pitch. For the most part I feel like all my pitches will be there. It's just making my leg feel good."

On the rise?

Adam Dunn is never going to win a batting title, but the White Sox' left-handed slugger/strikeout machine wants to hit higher than his .204 average last year and much higher than his .159 average in 2011, his first season with the White Sox.

Dunn always has liked to take his walks. But he is focused on being more aggressive earlier in the count this season, which in theory should help him make more contact.

"I think he has the ability to do it," manager Robin Ventura said. "It's working and getting in the cage and getting him feeling right. It's one thing just to have him go out there and tell him you don't care about it, but a higher average helps everybody, so I'm looking for more out of that."

Hoops hysteria:

Chris Sale attended Florida Gulf Coast University, so the White Sox' No. 1 starter was understandably ecstatic Saturday, a day after the obscure school shocked No. 2 seed Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament.

FGCU has only been in existence for 16 years, and this is Eagles' first trip to March Madness.

"It's awesome," Sale said. "I had nothing to do with it, obviously, but it just feels good. You come from a small school like that and everyone just kind of looks at us like a midweek prep game. 'All right, we'll get our win midweek and then we'll get ready for conference play.'

"I don't think that's the way it's going to be from here on out. I was reading some articles and everyone was saying they have all this swag, all this confidence.

"I love it. You have to. We don't have too many people in our corner. We had to believe in ourselves, and those guys believe in themselves."

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