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updated: 9/4/2013 11:16 PM

Trio of young guns debut for White Sox

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  • White Sox pitcher Erik Johnson wipes his face during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, at Yankee Stadium in New York.

      White Sox pitcher Erik Johnson wipes his face during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, at Yankee Stadium in New York.
    Associated Press


Let's start with the old guys.

First, 33-year-old Adam Dunn again said he would walk away from the game -- and his $15 million salary for 2014 -- if he's no longer enjoying the game.

And 37-year-old Paul Konerko has reportedly been telling friends he wants to come back and play next season, preferably with the White Sox.

The odds of Dunn retiring are maybe 0.5 percent, and Konerko has repeatedly gone on record and said he is making no decision on his future until the season is over.

So let's move on to the Sox' young guys.

They were out in force during Wednesday night's 6-5 loss to the Yankees, and the results were mixed.

Erik Johnson made his first major-league start after tearing it up at Class AA Birmingham and AAA Charlotte while combining to go 12-3 with a 1.96 ERA.

The 23-year-old right-hander didn't look like he'd make it out of the first inning against the Yankees while throwing 31 pitches and allowing 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks, but Johnson kept his composure and struck out Ichiro Suzuki with the bases loaded to escape bigger trouble.

Johnson was solid through the second and third innings, but he allowed 4 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits in the fourth, and his throwing error to first base was costly.

Johnson (0-1) wound up pitching 6 innings and allowed 5 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks as the White Sox lost their sixth straight game.

"I thought I could have done a little bit better job, but overall I thought it was a good one to start with," Johnson told reporters. "It's definitely a good start to build off of."

Marcus Semien also made his first big-league start, at third base, and he went 2-for-4 hitting ninth.

In his first at-bat, Semien flipped a single to right-center field off Yankees starter CC Sabathia (13-11). In his final trip to the plate, Semien came through with an RBI single to cut the Yankees' lead to 6-5 in the eighth inning.

"It was a lot of fun," Semien told reporters. "I really was trying to stay calm the whole time. They had a couple plays maybe we should have made. It was a tough game. We maybe should have come back and won that but maybe next time."

New relief pitcher Daniel Webb also made his major-league debut Wednesday.

The right-hander replaced Johnson in the seventh inning and walked leadoff hitter Derek Jeter, who moved to third on Robinson Cano's single.

After Alfonso Soriano's sacrifice fly put New York in front 6-1, Webb got Curtis Granderson to line into a double play.


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