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06/29/11 9:30 PM ET
Dunn to start Thursday's finale at Coors
By Nick Kosmider / MLB.com
DENVER -- White Sox slugger Adam Dunn is doing whatever he can to break out of a season-long slump that has him hitting .173 entering Wednesday's action.
In a simulated-game situation on Wednesday at Coors Field, Dunn took live at-bats against a pair of White Sox Minor League pitchers, aiming to find a rhythm as the club continues its six-game Interleague road trip.
Dunn said he stood at the plate for "probably 50, 60, 70" pitches, while simulating various counts against 6-foot-10 left-hander Garrett Johnson and right-hander Stephen Sauer.
"[The pitchers] were getting the work in, too, so we're trying to simulate at-bats," Dunn said of the practice session. "It's good for all of us."
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Dunn would be in the starting lineup on Thursday against Rockies right-hander Aaron Cook. Dunn will be slotted into one of the corner outfield spots or at first base.
Ozzie's message sent, Rios ready to move on
DENVER -- A day after being pulled from a game for what was cited by manager Ozzie Guillen as poor baserunning, White Sox center fielder Alex Rios was back in the starting lineup and ready to move on.
Rios had little to say on Wednesday when asked about being removed in the seventh inning of Tuesday's 3-2, 13-inning loss to the Rockies.
"I'm not going to comment on anything," Rios said. "It happened last night, and what can you do? [Guillen] had to do what he had to do, and it's all good.
"I'm going to keep distractions away from the game. We have to win tonight and the rest of this series. Like I said, he had to do what he had to do, and let's move forward."
Guillen said on Wednesday that his decision to pull Rios wasn't meant to be a message to the center fielder, but rather a wake-up call to the entire team.
"The worst thing that can happen to any manager is when the players don't play the game right," Guillen said. "I didn't try to send him a message, I just showed people how we have to play the game the right way."
According to Guillen, White Sox players have just a couple marching orders: "Be there on time, be there for the national anthem, and play the game the right way.
"They can do whatever they want; They're grown people," Guillen said. "But my job is to take care of baseball on the field and win games. That's what my job here is all about.
"I never criticize my players for being 0-for-4 or striking out, but I will criticize them when they are not playing the way they should be playing."
Though he went 0-for-3 before being pulled in the series opener, Rios said he has felt good at the plate, where he was hitting .343 (12-for-35) in his last nine games entering Wednesday's action.
"I think I've been hitting the ball a little better than I was at the beginning of the season," Rios said. "I hope I can continue doing that and help the team win games. That's what we have to do now. We have to win as many games as we can, and I'm hoping that I can contribute somehow."
White Sox bullpen could use some relief
DENVER -- Being a White Sox reliever has meant a heavy workload during the past week.
After using six relievers in a 14-inning game on Friday, Chicago brought four arms out of the 'pen during a 13-inning loss to the Rockies on Tuesday.
The extra duty hasn't seemed to affect the group's performance, though.
In their last 11 games entering Wednesday's contest at Coors Field, White Sox relievers owned a 1.37 ERA, surrendering just six earned runs in 39 1/3 innings, lowering their season ERA during that stretch from 4.46 to 3.88.
White Sox manger Ozzie Guillen said his entire lot of relievers would be available on Wednesday.
"Everybody should be fine," Guillen said. "It seems like we're using a lot of people, but we showed up the best we could."