MINNEAPOLIS — Perhaps in an effort to shake up an inconsistent offense, Robin Ventura has reordered his lineup for Sunday’s game.
Entrenched in the cleanup slot of late, Jose Abreu will hit third in Sunday’s lineup while Conor Gillaspie drops back to No. 6. Adam Dunn and Alexei Ramirez both moved up one position, to the fourth and fifth spots.
Ventura said it’s mostly about the team’s matchup against Minnesota Twins starter Phil Hughes. But deviating from the norm can’t hurt an offense that has scored 30 runs over its last nine games, including a 15-run burst in a two-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants earlier this week.
“It’s move it around, just with matchups and things like that,” Ventura said. “Kind of balance it out. That’s the way to balance it out.”
“This year we have a little more flexibility in doing that than we have had in the past. I don’t sit there and think it has to be the same every time, but some of it, you like to see guys move around and be able to do it. Part of it is guys, it’s not a shock to them when one day they are batting sixth, like Conor. I don’t think he really cares. He’s just going to go play.”
Dunn said after Saturday’s loss he doesn’t know why the White Sox can’t sustain any consistency.
While they have produced two runs by the third inning in each of the three contests, and three ninth-inning runs, the White Sox haven’t scored from the fourth through the eighth innings against the Twins.
The White Sox, who lead the majors with 47 ninth-inning runs, are 8-for-53 (.151) and three walks with no runs. All eight hits are singles.
“I don’t know if it’s an intensity thing or not,” Dunn said. “It doesn’t seem any different in the dugout or anything. I don’t know. Again, we had an opportunity to tie it today, and we didn’t get that done. Whether that’s in the first inning or the ninth, it really doesn’t matter.
“Throw the Royals series out. I think we just got beat that series. This one I feel like we’re beating ourselves, especially offensively. When we are getting pitches to hit, we’re fouling them off or a lot of balls at people or deep fly balls. Obviously they’re out there trying to make a living as well. But we’ve got to do better offensively, that’s the bottom line.”