ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Adam Dunn, 2-for-23 in his last six games, took extra batting practice and did not play in the White Sox’ 5-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Ray on Monday night.
Carlos Quentin batted third as the designated hitter and Brent Lillibridge played right field as the Sox watched their losing streak reach five as they opened an 11-game road trip.
“When he gets hot, he’s going to be on fire, on and off,” Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of Dunn. “But he’s a pro. I don’t worry about it. He’s going to take extra hitting for a little while and try to make some adjustments.”
Dunn was loose and relaxed in the Sox clubhouse before the game, tossing a football around with Paul Konerko, Gordon Beckham and Sergio Santos. Dunn was a red-shirt college quarterback at Texas for one season before giving up football to concentrate on baseball.
Dunn gave throwing pointers to Konerko, who, after throwing wobbly passes at first, came around and started throwing tight spirals under Dunn’s watch.
Dunn was swinging well before he was sideline by an appendectomy. When he came back after a six-day layoff, “then he’s got to face [Trevor] Cahill and [Jared] Weaver and all those guys,” Guillen said. “It’s kind of tough. It’s not great for us, but little by little, the last couple days he’s got couple good swings on a couple good balls, but I don’t worry about him.”
Dunn was 2-for-19 since with 11 strikeouts since the appendectomy. He fanned three times in the Sox’ loss to the Angels on Sunday.
Dunn isn’t the only Sox in a slump. Gordon Beckham went 0-for-4 Monday, his average slipping to .231. Beckham has one hit in his last 18 at-bats.
Alex Rios, who has been bothered by a sore big left toe, struck out three times.
Price was at his best.
“David had an exceptional fastball and he had some really good sliders on both sides of the plate,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said.