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updated: 5/31/2014 7:41 PM

Sox offense strikes out against Padres

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  • Paul Konerko flips his bat after being called out on strikes in the sixth inning Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field. White Sox batters have struck out 23 times in the first two games of their series with San Diego.

      Paul Konerko flips his bat after being called out on strikes in the sixth inning Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field. White Sox batters have struck out 23 times in the first two games of their series with San Diego.
    Associated Press

 
 

As Adam Dunn sat in front of his locker after Saturday afternoon's 4-2 loss to the Padres at U.S. Cellular Field, a bat fell and landed right on his foot.

"Perfect," Dunn said. "Perfect end to the day."

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On the brighter side, at least contact was made.

For the second straight game against San Diego, the White Sox had big-time trouble putting the bat on the baseball. In Friday's 4-1 loss, they managed just 4 hits and struck out 13 times.

On Saturday, the Sox had 5 hits and struck out 10 times.

"It's sputtering right now," manager Robin Ventura said of the offense. "We're just not getting that hit, the hit that gets you over the hump. I think all teams go through it for a period, and the last couple of days that's been us. We haven't been able to get the hit that gets you over the hump.

"Whenever that happens, it looks boring; it looks like they're not trying. But they're grinding it out. It's just not working right now."

Last season it seemed like the White Sox would go months without breaking out the bats. Now, over the last six games, they are hitting .215 and have scored 15 runs but are at least 3-3 over the stretch.

"It's only two games," center fielder Adam Eaton said of the consecutive losses to the Padres. "We just swept (Cleveland), so let's not anybody freak out. We're playing good baseball, and two games … we're planning on coming back tomorrow and having a good, steady approach like we have.

"Win the last one and have a happy trip out west. No one's freaking out in here. It's just baseball sometimes. And you know (San Diego starter Tyson) Ross is a good pitcher. I faced him quite a bit when I was with Arizona.

"He's got kind of a funky, quick delivery; he's got good stuff. Like I said, just wash this one and we'll come back tomorrow and try to salvage the series."

First baseman Jose Abreu was the American League's most dangerous hitter before going down with a bad left ankle two weeks ago. He is expected to come off the disabled list Monday and be back in the White Sox' lineup against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

"You add another bat like that in our lineup, obviously it doesn't hurt," Dunn said. "We've been doing a pretty good job of putting up runs while he's on the DL, but it will be nice to have him back for sure."

If Sox hitters have been waiting around for Abreu to swoop back in and bolster the offense, Ventura hasn't noticed.

"I hope they're not waiting around for that," Ventura said. "He is coming back, but you still have to play the game. They've been good so far of just staying focused in the moment and going through it. You get a couple of days where it just doesn't look good."

Especially all the strikeouts -- 23 in 18 innings against San Diego. On Saturday, Dunn was 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts and Eaton and Gordon Beckham each struck out twice.

"I think, again, you're sputtering, and that's part of it," Ventura said. "Guys realize it's been sputtering and you're trying to do maybe a bit too much instead of just staying within yourself, going the other way."

Said Dunn: "We've got guys that are going to strike out. But we've also got a lot of guys that are going to get on base a lot, too. It's just kind of magnified when we are striking out a lot and not getting on base."

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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