Twins No Match For Dominant Sox Duo

There is no question the White Sox found out what they have right now in pitchers Phil Humber and Zach Stewart, as the two young arms were dominant Monday in a day-night doubleheader against the Twins.

The key question mark moving forward is a pair of slumping veteran hitters, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios.

Righty Philip Humber, making his first start since coming off the disabled list after recovering from a facial contusion, threw seven shutout innings, allowing just six hits in the 2-1 win. But it was Zach Stewart who one-upped him in the nightcap, taking a perfect game into the eighth inning before Danny Valencia hit a leadoff double.

Stewart wound up allowing just the one baserunner, firing a one-hitter in Chicago's 4-0 win. He struck out nine.

They each made cases to not only stay in the rotation, but also to keep the six-man rotation that the Sox have used more than half the season.

Manager Ozzie Guillen said he didn't know how the rotation would line up the rest of the way. Guillen was expected to meet with pitching coach Don Cooper and map out a schedule after the Twins series.

With LHP Mark Buehrle a pending free agent and the Sox possibly looking to trade either LHP John Danks or RHP Gavin Floyd, the team would like to make sure that Humber and Stewart can contribute moving forward.

Despite the sweep, the Sox still eight games behind Detroit in the AL Central after being swept by the Tigers over the weekend.

So while the team feels good about what it has in the young pitchers, it's two high-paid hitters who have them concerned for next year and beyond.

Adam Dunn got the nod in Game 1 after sitting most of September so far, and he went 0-for-3 with a strikeout to drop the average to .162 and raise the strikeout total to 158. Alex Rios started in Game 2 and went 3-for-5, but he is still hitting just .224.

Dunn will have $14 million coming his way in 2012, while Rios will collect $12.5 million. The White Sox are hoping the duo will start earning those salaries.

"They did this to themselves," Guillen said when asked if he thought both players could turn dismal 2011 seasons around by next year.

"Everybody learns from mistakes. Now they have to work. ... I'm not going to say Rios, Rios works hard every day. But I think the stuff they need to do in the offseason, when you get older, you've got to work a little bit more, a little bit harder. They owe it to themselves.

"I don't think they should feel guilty about how much money they make, unless they want to. ... I said two years ago, whoever is going to have a younger team is going to have a better chance. And they have to take better care of themselves. Hopefully they can bounce back and have a better year."

Both have said they will have different workout programs this offseason, and the Sox are hoping for much different results.


Sox Stuff

--2B Gordon Beckham has heard that his mechanics have been his biggest problem in his average falling from .270 to .252 to .230 the past three seasons. It was that topic that even caused a shouting match between GM Ken Williams and hitting coach Greg Walker two weeks ago, according to the Chicago Sun-Times and then confirmed by manager Ozzie Guillen. But according to Beckham, the problem has been more approach than mechanics. "There might be a little tick here or there that's different, but ultimately I get to the same spot," Beckham said. "I just have to start swinging at strikes. The other thing is it's a little easier to hit when you're hitting .300, hitting .320. When you're grinding to try and hit .230 or .240, that's never good, and unfortunately it's been that way for me. I know when it turns, I will appreciate it that much more, but no one wants to wait forever, starting with me."

--Manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't believe his team has been beaten down mentally this season. "I think what happened to us is we dug ourselves a very deep hole early in the season, and we climbed (part) way and almost was there, and it seemed like we couldn't climb anymore," Guillen said. "I blame how we started. We started very bad. The thing about (mentality) in baseball is this game you got to play every day. And people say it's mental. Yeah, mentally to prepare yourself. But I see people hiring (team psychiatrists), doctors and all those people. How about hiring Pete Rose and Roger Clemens and all those guys to say, 'Hey, that's the way I went through it.'"

--RHP Jake Peavy will get the start Tuesday, and manager Ozzie Guillen would like to see at least one more start from the veteran, with another doubleheader coming Sept. 20 in Cleveland. There had been talk that Peavy could be shut down after admitting that he was running on fumes his last few starts. "We got to see if Peavy is tired after (Tuesday)," Guillen said. "I'm not going to give up yet. If they don't think they're going to pitch because we're out (of the race), that's their problem, not my problem. But if I see at the point where (GM) Kenny (Williams) sees and (pitching coach Don Cooper) sees we're done and not going to be realistic about this, then why should (Peavy) continue to pitch?"

--RHP Dylan Axelrod had his contract purchased and was called up for the Monday doubleheader with the Twins, with the plan for Axelrod to give the Sox another option in the bullpen. Axelrod, 26, was a combined 9-3 with a 2.69 ERA in 150 2/3 innings in the White Sox's minor league system this season. He had 132 strikeouts and 35 walks. He looked very good for Class AAA Charlotte, going 6-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 15 outings.

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