5/19/2013 5:12 P.M. ET
Ventura sees Konerko rounding into form
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- When White Sox manager Robin Ventura watched Paul Konerko struggle through the early part of this season, he never once thought age suddenly had caught up with the talented and accomplished 37-year-old.
"There's not an alarm that goes off from just watching him swing," Ventura said. "Part of it comes from there is a certain, I don't even know if it's a standard, he knows what he should kind of be doing hitting-wise. You get angry with yourself when you go through that and you want to do more."
Konerko knocked out three hits in Saturday's loss, raising his average to .231. After getting the first two days off in the Twins series to open this seven-game road trip, Konerko is showing signs of "getting his swing where he wants it," according to Ventura.
"Some of the at-bats he was having, the ball's coming off the bat a little different," Ventura said. "He's getting it through the zone.
"I don't want to put it out that he has to hit homers, just hit it hard. He has the ability to hit it out of the ballpark but I don't want it to be an all-or-nothing thing that he has got to start forcing himself to do. Be a tough out or at-bat and the rest will take care of itself."
Dunn says back feeling better, returns to lineup
ANAHEIM -- Adam Dunn doesn't want to be "Tommy Tough Guy" as he stated prior to Sunday's series finale with the Angels.
He's been there before with the White Sox, where he came back early after having his appendix removed in 2011 and fought through a right oblique strain to try to help the White Sox at the end of last season. The goal was admirable but the results weren't quite as uplifting.
So, where the back spasms that knocked Dunn out of Saturday's game in the fifth inning are concerned, he wouldn't have returned Sunday if he didn't feel fairly healthy. Not in the midst of an 8-for-22 stretch with 10 RBIs on this current road trip.
Dunn tested his back with early swings on Sunday and pronounced himself ready to go as the designated hitter, with Paul Konerko playing first base.
"It doesn't bother me this much this way [side to side] or like it was last night," Dunn said. "More vertical, up and down, so we're going to roll with it.
"I'm going back to what happened last year. There are times where the Tommy Tough Guy doesn't work out too well for you. And so I was really making sure I like where everything is. I don't want one game to screw up three weeks. But I felt good enough to think I'll be fine."
While stretching before a two-run single in the fourth Saturday, Dunn felt his back grab. He stayed in until the top of the fifth, with manager Robin Ventura and his staff noticing Dunn wasn't moving right. Dunn, who views the problem more as a cramp than a significant back injury, felt major improvement in the area Sunday.
"I don't know how long these things last," Dunn said. "I'm hearing from one person it's two days. I'm hearing from another person up to a week. I didn't know what to expect when I woke up this morning. I was sore, but it felt like after a cramp. That's all I can explain. I can deal with soreness."
Beckham, Danks inching closer to Major League return
ANAHEIM -- After finishing 2-for-4 as the designated hitter for Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday night, Gordon Beckham knocked out three hits during his second Minor League rehab start for Charlotte on Sunday. Beckham scored one and drove in two while playing second base, as he moves closer to a White Sox return from a fractured hamate bone in his left hand that has had him out of action since April 10.
"It's more the physical stuff for him getting back right now," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of his starting second baseman's recovery. "It's not like a guy who goes to the offseason and comes back.
"Gordon is still running around and doing stuff, so he still kind of has the eyes and the timing of it. I think he will progress a little quicker."
Utility infielder Angel Sanchez, also on a rehab assignment to test his lower back strain, is 4-for-16 with six runs scored over six games for the Knights.
John Danks was Charlotte's focus on Saturday night in Buffalo, as he made his fourth and possibly final Minor League rehab start. Ventura said a discussion would take place when the White Sox return home to plan the left-hander's next step, which could result in a start against the Marlins on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
Jones dealing with flip side of W-L record this season
ANAHEIM -- Nate Jones' 8-0 mark out of the bullpen in 2012 was the best record in White Sox franchise history posted by a first-year pitcher, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. With an 0-4 ledger after picking up the loss in Saturday's 12-9 setback, Jones is experiencing the darker side of the results.
Those losing ways haven't changed Jones' positive attitude.
"It's a little bit different, but you know you got to keep grinding," said a smiling Jones. "You got to keep throwing strikes. The luck will change at some point. But just keep grinding.
"One pitch can change the game. That's all it takes. I feel like I threw pretty good yesterday and just made one bad pitch and that was the 0-2 to [Mark] Trumbo when he hit the [go-ahead] double. Other than that, I felt good about what I did."
Jones worked a career-high 3 1/3 innings in relief of Hector Santiago on Saturday, covering 48 pitches. He admitted to tiring at the end of his outing but doesn't mind the extended relief work, which already has resulted in four outings of two-plus innings this season.
"I have the same attitude as last year," said Jones, who had a 2.39 ERA over 65 games last year, compared to 5.75 in 16 games this season. "Whatever they want me to do, I'm more than willing to do it. I'm going to give it 100 percent no matter what it is. It doesn't bother me too much."
Third to first
• After a long travel day that had Donnie Veal getting to the ballpark about an hour before first pitch Saturday, the left-hander was hit hard in relief and gave up four runs over one-third of an inning. Veal quickly put that bad game behind him, staying confident in the improvements he made at Triple-A Charlotte with the help of pitching coach Richard Dotson.
"They hit fastballs over the middle of the plate, which is what they are supposed to do," Veal said. "I felt like I threw [the curve] for strikes. Just keep building from there. Should be good to go."
• The White Sox and Angels combined to score 21 runs from the fourth to the ninth innings Saturday. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first time both teams scored at least nine runs after not scoring in the first three innings since the Cubs beat the Brewers, 13-10, on Aug. 29, 2002. The last time the White Sox were involved in this sort of game was an 11-10 victory over the Washington Senators on Aug. 30, 1960.
• After having just 11 multiple-error games in 2012, the White Sox already have seven multi-error games this season.
• Seventeen of the White Sox next 23 games will take place in Chicago, including two games at Wrigley Field.