The caution flag is out on Adam Dunn’s return to game action. The White Sox designated hitter talked about a fast-track return the day after his appendectomy in Kansas City last week, but he still feels sore when he runs.
The best bet for Dunn’s return looks like Friday, when the Sox open a three-game home series against the Anaheim Angels after an off day.
Manager Ozzie Guillen is in no rush to get Dunn in the lineup with his team leading the American League in hitting going into Monday’s game against Oakland. Dunn looked ready in batting practice, hitting multiple shots into the seats.
“Yeah, when he tells me he’s ready to go I am going to give him an extra day,” Guillen said before Monday’s game. “He talked to me yesterday. Every time he’s running he’s uncomfortable there. And we better wait to see how he’s running the bases a little bit. Very cautious for us.
“Obviously the pain is going to be there. How much he is going to tolerate that is the question. I give him another day.”
Dunn was out of the starting lineup for the sixth consecutive game when the Sox hosted the Oakland Athletics Monday night in a matchup of starting pitchers who have pitched perfect games.
The Sox’ designated hitter underwent an emergency appendectomy in the wee hours early Wednesday after the Sox’ Tuesday night game in Kansas City. The Sox said then that Dunn would miss up to five games.
Carlos Quentin will be the Sox designated hitter tonight. Brent Lillibridge will play right field. Lillibridge started in right field against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday and had contributed two hits, a run scored, an RBI and two stolen bases in the Sox’ home opener.
Tonight’s lineup against A’s Dallas Braden:
Juan Pierre – LF
Gordon Beckham – 2B
Alex Rios – CF
Paul Konerko – 1B
Carlos Quentin – DH
Alexei Ramirez – SS
Brent Morel – 3B
Ramon Castro – C
Brent Lillibridge – RF
Mark Buehrle will pitch for the Sox. It will be the 21st time in major league history that pitchers with perfect games will start against each other.
Braden said he is a fan of Buehrle’s.
“He’s a guy I looked to, especially early in my career, for how to get outs,” Braden told the Oakland Tribune. “He’s a guy who pitches to contact. That’s the reason I watch him and don’t watch old clips of Randy Johnson. I watch a lot of (Buehrle), Jamie Moyer “… crafty guys.”
Braden got his perfecto on May 9, 2010 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Buehrle threw his on July 23, 2009, also against the Rays.
“I’m venturing to say this matchup is going to be a far cry from perfection,” Braden said. “I’m not a math major, but the numbers say I got mine out of the way already.”