CHICAGO – Just as he was finding a rhythm at the plate, an injury has knocked White Sox second baseman Jeff Keppinger out of the lineup.
Keppinger had recorded three consecutive multihit games, going 6 for 12 during that stretch, but back spasms kept him on the bench Friday against the Rays. Manager Robin Ventura said Keppinger’s back issue cropped up towards the end of Thursday’s game. Although Keppinger received treatment on his back leading up to Friday’s game, he wasn’t going to be ready in time to play forcing Ventura to pencil Tyler Greene in the lineup.
“That’s why you have extra guys, you get them in there and play and make due,” Ventura said. “It’s one of those things you get him healthy first. There’s no sense in sending him out there if he’s not feeling good.”
Outfielder Dewayne Wise was scratched from the lineup because of a stiff neck and is considered day-to-day. Jordan Danks replaced him in center field leaving Ventura with only two players, catcher Tyler Flowers and outfielder Blake Tekotte, on the bench.
“Injuries happen and we’ve had a couple of them that are unfortunate with Gordon [Beckham] and [Carlos] Sanchez and [Dayan] Viciedo,” Ventura said. “But again, teams deal with injuries and you keep going. Just put another guy in there and go. You have to find a way.”
Dunn sticks in No. 4 spot: Sporting a .108 batting average entering Friday’s game, designated hitter Adam Dunn still found himself batting fourth when the lineup was posted in the Sox’s clubhouse.
Despite eight hits in 74 at-bats – four of which are home runs – Ventura is sticking with Dunn in the heart of the Sox’s lineup.
“I think you consider everything but again, he’s swinging it better and I like him in that spot,” Ventura said. “He does walk. If he’s going to do that and put up the god at-bats he’s had the last few nights then you get him on there with Paul [Konerko] and [Conor] Gillaspie coming up behind him.”
Dunn’s six walks in 20 games can’t overshadow his 28 strikeouts and .185 on-base percentage, which ranks last in the majors. While Ventura conceded Dunn provides a positive impact in the clubhouse, on-field results still matter especially when Beckham and Viciedo’s return to the lineup.
“That stuff is never in question,” Ventura said. “But again, we’re playing baseball, so it’s what’s about what’s going on here and how we’re doing. You make decisions on that too.”
Quick hits: Left-handed reliever Leyson Septimo (left shoulder) made a rehab appearance Friday with Triple-A Charlotte. Septimo has been on the disabled list since March 26. … The Sox rank second in the American League with a 3.20 ERA and a 2.38 mark at U.S. Cellular Field. ... Sox prospect Jared Mitchell landed on the DL with an oblique strain. Mitchell opened the season at Charlotte but was demoted to Double-A Birmingham after a slow start.