CHICAGO -- Alex Rios has developed a bit of a May tradition.
When Mother's Day rolls around every year, he breaks out the pink bats. The special-edition Louisville Slugger bats were used around Major League Baseball on Sunday to raise awareness for breast cancer.
"I use them every time on Mother's Day," Rios said. "No matter the results or anything. It's something that I'm used to doing and it feels good."
Alejandro De Aza and Jeff Keppinger also used pink bats during a 3-0 victory over the Angels, during which Chris Sale faced one batter over the minimum and lost his perfect game on a Mike Trout single with one out in the seventh. Other players wore pink wristbands, while White Sox captain Paul Konerko wore pink cleats at first base during the victory.
Rios was hitless over his first three at-bats using the pink bats, but doubled home an important insurance run during a three-run seventh inning.
Danks continues progress in rehab with solid outing
CHICAGO -- Sunday afternoon's Triple-A Charlotte victory over Pawtucket quickly turned into a Danks family affair.
John Danks made his third Minor League rehab start, allowing two earned runs on seven hits over six innings, while striking out five and walking three. Meanwhile, his younger brother, Jordan, collected two hits and drove in three.
"He had a good game for me," said John of his brother, during a phone interview from Charlotte. "I definitely owe him one."
With all due respect to Jordan, who has made great progress over the last couple of seasons offensively, the focus Sunday was on John's continued work back from season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery last Aug. 6. Much like his first two rehab starts, Danks reported almost nothing but positives from his 101-pitch effort.
His pitches continued to do what he wanted in terms of movement and location, with Danks adding that his curveball was as good as it has been since he was a rookie. Danks wasn't sure about his velocity, but he felt it was in the same 88-89 mph range from his last start, going up as high as 91.
"I felt great. I had plenty of velocity," said Danks, who threw 66 of his pitches for strikes. "[White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper] and the organization puts a lot more emphasis on it than I am. I have to be able to play off my change, so it's a big part.
"But I think can be just as effective at 88 than I would be at 93. I'm throwing the ball where I want to throw it rather than putting a lot behind the ball."
Next up for Danks is a May 18 start at Buffalo for the Knights, giving him an extra day between starts. If things go as well as they have been, Danks could return to the White Sox for a home series against the Marlins the weekend of May 24.
"I'm on the right track," said Danks, who said consistency stands as the last hurdle he needs to clear to finish off his comeback. "If it takes one more, perfect. If I need another one, I know I won't need much more. I feel better all the way around and I'm not very far off."
One more hope for the older Danks is that he gets to play with his brother at the big league level, something they've missed out on during the regular season.
"It's been unfortunate I've been hurt the whole time he's getting time, and now that I'm close to getting back, Jordan is back down here," Danks said. "I'm looking forward to the day when we can do it together with the White Sox."
Dunn gets breather against Angels' Wilson
CHICAGO -- The White Sox put Casper Wells in their starting lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Angels, partially because he was 4-for-9 lifetime against left-hander C.J. Wilson, with two homers and two doubles. Manager Robin Ventura also wanted to give a break to Adam Dunn, who is 0-for-11 over his last three games and 16-for-117 (.137) overall.
"A day to have a breather is good," Ventura said. "A lot of the guys, you get to a point where everybody wants to do a lot more than they need to do instead of making it simple. It's just one of those, you give him a day to not have to think about that."
Dunn has maintained from the start of the season that he feels good at the plate. The results certainly aren't there to back up that feeling, but Ventura believes it might be offense-wide mental pressure that negatively affects Dunn and others.
"There's physical things that happen with guys," Ventura said. "Then there's the mental side of going up there and you feel pretty good and again, trying to do too much changes things. A lot happens when you go from the on-deck circle to the plate.
"That's just something that, you get to a point where you're just trying to do simple things. That's all really we need to do is take care of the simple things."
These struggles are not limted to Dunn. Jeff Keppinger went 0-for-4 Sunday night and is hitting .187, and Tyler Flowers is hitting .185.
Wells doubled off Wilson in the second inning of Sunday's 3-0 White Sox victory. He went 1-for-3 against the lefty and 1-for-4 in the game.
Third to first
• Ventura said the White Sox had a couple of team meetings last year but certainly doesn't want to make Saturday's pregame session a habit.
"I've been in a lot of them. I don't like them. I just think teams that scuffle have meetings a lot," Ventura said. "So I don't want to have too many meetings. Teams that win don't seem to have that many meetings because they don't need to. I would rather that be the last one of the year.
"Mine was just me talking. I wasn't looking for a rebuttal. It's just more there were things that needed to be said and I'm the guy to say it."
• The South Siders' 250 homers since 2012 rank third in the Majors.
• Jesse Crain owns a 13-game scoreless streak, covering 12 1/3 innings.