CHICAGO -- Hector Santiago was told on Tuesday to be ready to make his third big league start on Friday in the series opener against the Twins at Target Field, taking the mound before Jose Quintana works on Saturday and Jake Peavy pitches on Sunday.
Those plans were written in pencil, not permanent marker. On Wednesday night, Santiago relieved Gavin Floyd in the fifth inning and threw 51 pitches over two innings in the 8-6 loss to Detroit, an outing that took him out of starting consideration.
"Today they told me to be ready with Gavin just coming off the disabled list," said Santiago prior to his relief work. "It's tough to know what he's going to do. I'm a reliever right now, and Friday if I'm starting, I'm starting."
With Santiago's relief effort, as well as Dylan Axelrod's, manager Robin Ventura indicated that Francisco Liriano most likely would be going against the team that traded him prior to this year's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Otherwise, Liriano will be available in relief as he tries to battle out of a funk that produced 12 earned runs and 15 walks over his last 14 innings.
Liriano faced three hitters in Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Tigers and didn't retire any of them, allowing two earned runs. Entering in a one-run game was not exactly a comfortable situation for Liriano, who has made 27 career relief appearances but has been more accustomed to doing so in more wide-open contests.
"It's been my first time coming in that situation," Liriano said. "I've been in that situation before, but just [when] we're losing by a lot or winning by a lot.
"I'll come in and throw one or two innings. Yesterday was different for me. So I came in yesterday, [tried] to get ahead in the count, [tried] to throw strikes and get some people out, but it didn't go the way I wanted. I don't know. I'll try to find a way to get better."
Beckham worthy of Gold Glove consideration
CHICAGO -- In the middle of a 20-game stretch toward his first playoff appearance in four big league seasons, Gordon Beckham has no time to think about individual awards.
But when one of the American League's best defensive second basemen was asked if he thought about winning a 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove, he had time for a quick answer.
"I don't think about it, but I would love to have one," Beckham said. "I work hard at it, you know. I don't want individual awards, but if that were to come, that would be really special to me.
"That would probably be as big of an award as I've ever gotten. I would love the opportunity to be in the running, I guess. It seems like I was overlooked last year, mostly because of my offense. I hope I get some votes."
Beckham certainly deserves consideration, as he stands tied for third with the Yankees' Robinson Cano courtesy of his .990 fielding percentage, and he has committed just six errors.
Entering Wednesday night's game against Detroit, Beckham had a 20-game errorless streak. He leads all AL second basemen in double plays, with 94, and is second in range factor, at 4.62.
It has been quite a quick development process for the soon-to-be 26-year-old who came to the White Sox as a shortstop but started his Major League career as a third baseman.
"I've just worked really hard at it. It's not something that magically came," he said. "I work every day on the same stuff. I take relatively the same amount of ground balls in the same amount of spots. I kind of make all my plays that I think there's a chance I could make during the game.
"That preparation has allowed me to be good. I don't know how it just came that easy in terms of that. My first year was a little shaky, but last year was great, and this year has been just as good. I attribute it to hard work and really just enjoying that position. I really think that's my position and that's where my talents are best exposed on the field."
A .368 run over his last 12 games has pushed Beckham's batting average to .239, to go with a career-high 15 homers.
Exercising caution, Dunn misses sixth straight game
CHICAGO -- Designated hitter Adam Dunn took swings on Wednesday to test his strained right oblique, and the results were a sixth straight missed game. But he and the White Sox would rather be cautious than re-aggravate an already re-aggravated and painful area.
"If it happens as bad as it was ... I'm done," said Dunn, who also missed the Sept. 1-2 games against the Tigers at Comerica Park. "As bad as it [stinks], I'd rather miss today and try again tomorrow.
"It feels fine when I pick up a bat and swing it [in the clubhouse]. Then I go and try to hit, and I don't know if it's because you tighten up or what, but it kind of grabs you. It's definitely not worse, and I do feel better.
"When I was swinging it, I could swing it. I could play, but I don't know how good I can swing. The problem is, I have to swing a 34-ounce bat, which is not that bad until you really try to gear up for it, and it's just not better yet."
Dunn has admitted to coming back too soon after first sustaining the injury in Baltimore the last week of August, playing the first game at Comerica and then three home games against Minnesota from Sept. 3-5.
As much as he wants to get back in and help the White Sox during their playoff push, the team will wait it out.
"You just want to make sure they're telling the truth about how they're feeling," manager Robin Ventura said. "We've already gone through that once, with him saying it feels pretty good to pulling it. The mental stuff happens to everybody, so it's no different for him than it's been for Gavin [Floyd] sitting out and not pitching."
"This is it, this is what you want to be at -- September, playing meaningful games. And not being able to do anything, it's awful," Dunn said. "I'd rather be out there not doing anything than what I'm doing now, because it's terrible."
Wise, De Aza switch things up in outfield
CHICAGO -- After making 117 starts in center field this season, Alejandro De Aza was moved to left field and Dewayne Wise placed in center for Wednesday's contest against Detroit.
Turns out those spots are the preference for both when they are in the same outfield.
"Well, in talking to him, De Aza's a little more comfortable in left," manager Robin Ventura said. "It's just one of those [situations] where if he feels more comfortable over there, go over there. That's it."
De Aza plays a little deeper in center and has done a solid job of tracking down long fly balls while anchoring a top-notch outfield defense. Wise has a slightly stronger arm, and he also might be able to get to a few more bloopers because he plays slightly shallower.
In the Tigers' two-run eighth on Tuesday, Jhonny Peralta dropped a softly hit single to center on what looked like a fairly tough play for De Aza, putting runners on first and third with nobody out.
Third to first
Dan Johnson got the start at designated hitter and Orlando Hudson at second base on Wednesday, as manager Robin Ventura added two more left-handed hitters against Detroit's Max Scherzer.
"I feel like this is the time to go out and produce, and I feel like I'm going to do it," Johnson said. "So there's no reason to worry about or feel less confident in yourself."
Kevin Youkilis has three hits in 35 at-bats against the Tigers as a member of the White Sox, all of them home runs. Two of them came on Wednesday, when he recorded his 11th multihomer game in the 8-6 loss.
Donnie Veal has retired all 21 left-handed batters he's faced this season.