06/27/12 5:32 PM ET
Backups give Sox regulars a break in matinee
By Jordan Garretson / MLB.com
Paul Konerko, Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo were all absent from Chicago's lineup. Orlando Hudson started at second base and Jordan Danks was slotted in left field. Eduardo Escobar's start at third base shifted Kevin Youkilis over to first.
"It's for the long haul," Ventura said before the White Sox 12:10 p.m. CT getaway game with Minnesota. "Guys got to play. This is a good time -- when you get these day games like this -- to get these guys in there who have been on the bench a little bit."
Youkilis -- who had two hits in his first two games with his new club -- has experience at first base, giving the Chicago manager more flexibility with his lineup.
"I talked to him about it when he first got here," Ventura said. "He's played a lot of it. So it's not the same thing, like we did with Orlando, trying to make him a third baseman. He's fine with it. It's just one of those things we'll end up doing."
Hudson's start was his first since Youkilis was acquired from Boston. Youkilis' flexibility allowed Ventura to give Konerko a day off while still putting Hudson at his natural position.
"We'll use him in different situations, either at second or at third," Ventura said. "I think now's a good time to play both of them on the same day, to get him over there, where he's comfortable."
Axelrod excited to pitch at Yankee Stadium
MINNEAPOLIS -- Thursday will mark White Sox right-hander Dylan Axelrod's sixth career start, but more importantly, his first appearance at Yankee Stadium.
It will be the second outing for the 26-year-old since he was called up from Triple-A to fill in for the injured Philip Humber. But because of the setting, this one might brings a different kind of anticipation.
"It's just excitement," said Axelrod, who is 0-1 with a 5.58 ERA in two starts. "It's one of the biggest stages you can be on. Just thinking about it, it's a great stadium. Great tradition. But between the lines, it's the same dimensions, same field. So I'm not nervous in any way. I'm just really excited to have the opportunity to pitch there."
He's focused on keeping an even-keeled approach as he prepares for his first game in one of baseball's most historic facilities.
"I'm not building it up," Axelrod said. "It's just more of a gratifying thing to be able to pitch in that stadium. It doesn't get much better than that."
Reliever Ohman designated for assignment
MINNEAPOLIS -- The White Sox designated reliever Will Ohman for assignment following Wednesday's 12-5 win over the Twins. The move will go into effect on Thursday and Chicago will make a corresponding roster move.
Ohman allowed three runs on two hits in two innings on Wednesday, including a two-run homer to Minnesota's Darin Mastroianni. He is 0-2 with a 6.41 ERA in 32 appearances.
The left-hander spent the last two of his 10 Major League seasons with the White Sox. He owns a 4.23 career ERA.
Ramirez hitting on all cylinders at the plate
MINNEAPOLIS -- Chicago's recent run-scoring woes are no secret these days. The White Sox scored just 13 runs over the last five games before Wednesday, but Alexei Ramirez can't be blamed for the lack of production.
Ramirez entered Wednesday's series finale with the Twins on a nearly month-long tear. The right-handed shortstop was hitting .382 over his last 16 games (21-for-55).
He was especially impressive in the first two games of the series with Minnesota. Ramirez went a combined 4-for-6 in the first two games, including a triple in Tuesday's 3-2 win.
"It's the best he's swung it, for me, probably since the beginning of the year," manager Robin Ventura said. "His timing and the way the ball's coming off the bat, it's good to see."
Third to first
Chicago's pitchers entered Wednesday's game with a 1.91 ERA over the last seven games, including a 1.63 ERA by starters during that span.
Adam Dunn was hitless in his last 22 at-bats going into the series finale with Minnesota.
Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.