HOU@CWS: Dunn pulls White Sox within 2 with home run

CHICAGO -- Adam Dunn credits White Sox hitting coach Jeff Manto for his surge at the plate since early June.

Since June 8, Dunn is hitting .294 with 17 home runs and 48 RBIs entering play Wednesday. He said that Manto has worked with him not on changing his approach at the plate, but reaching pitches he normally wouldn't have reached earlier in his career.

"I don't think I've changed my approach very much," Dunn said. "I just think I'm getting pitched a little bit differently than I have. I'm able to get to some balls that for most of my career I wasn't able to get to and I think that's credit to Jeff, getting me all year long in a good hitting position.

"I think it's just having a really good routine and having a really good hitting coach that won't let me get away from what we're trying to do. Sometimes it's frustrating and sometimes I'll yell at him and he's really quick to yell right back and say, 'We're doing it.' So, it's good."

Dunn said he's not overly concerned about hitting to the opposite field, but more focused on getting the barrel on the ball consistently.

"My goal is not to go the other way and hit a lazy fly ball to left field. [Then] I went the other way, but so what, it's an out," Dunn said. "I don't care where the ball goes as long as I hit it hard and barrel it. I'm not going to go out there and try to force balls over there or things like that. I'm just going to try to put the barrel on it and if it goes over there great, if it doesn't, [it's fine] as long as I hit it hard."

Danks embraces pressure-filled situations

HOU@CWS: Danks drives in the tying and go-ahead runs

CHICAGO -- Jordan Danks has found himself in some pressure-packed situations at the plate recently, and that's right where he wants to be.

"Even if you don't come through in a big-time situation, those are situations that I do like to be in," Danks said. "You like to be that guy, and eventually I want to be able to say that I thrive in those situations."

Danks has been thriving in those situations lately, delivering a go-ahead solo homer in a 5-2 victory over the Rangers on Sunday and following that up with a career-high three hits in Tuesday's win over the Astros, including a two-out two-run single to put the White Sox ahead in the eighth.

Danks said he's gaining experience and confidence with every at-bat, especially now that he's on a nine-game hitting streak.

"[The hitting streak] does wonders for my confidence, actually," he said. "It really wasn't a goal to get on a hit streak, but now that it's happened and I'm feeling good at the plate, I'm not so much worried about [getting] number 10 today. It's just, 'Go out there and keep doing what you're doing.'"

Manager Robin Ventura said that he sees Danks' confidence building with more big league experience.

"He's been up and down for the last two years, but right now it's a good run for him since he's come back up," Ventura said. "He's maturing and I think he's learning how to hit up here. It's different. I can't really put a finger on what it is. But he does have confidence, he does have a good swing and it's going from there."

Danks is hitting .438 (14-for-32) over his nine-game hit streak, with four doubles, a home run and four RBIs.

Ventura gives Ramirez first off-day of season

HOU@CWS: Alexei makes a nice stop on a ground ball

CHICAGO -- Alexei Ramirez took his first day off this season and wasn't in the lineup for Wednesday's series finale with the Astros. Manager Robin Ventura said that if Ramirez had a regular backup at shortstop, he might have gotten an off-day sooner.

"I would say he would have gotten one," Ventura said. "There are times where you could see he could use a day, where he was fatigued. The way he's playing, you give him a day, and with the day off it turns into two. So he can recharge."

Ramirez is hitting .287 with four home runs and 41 RBIs. He is tied with Baltimore's Chris Davis for fourth in the American League with 36 doubles.

Third to first

• The White Sox play 23 of their next 26 games against teams above .500, including the division-leading Red Sox, Tigers, and Rangers. Chicago is 30-37 against teams with winning records this season and 11-11 against the trio of Boston, Detroit and Texas.

• The White Sox bullpen has a 3.08 ERA (36 ER in 105 1/3 IP) in the season's second half so far, and has posted a 1.96 ERA (10 ER in 46 IP) over the past 16 games.