Nearing return, Beckham heads for rehab assignment
Second baseman has recovered quickly from fractured bone in left hand
MINNEAPOLIS -- Gordon Beckham's goal of returning to the White Sox lineup within a week and a half is looking realistic.
Prior to the series finale with the Twins on Wednesday, Beckham departed from Minneapolis for a rehab assignment with Chicago's Triple-A affiliate, the Charlotte Knights.
Beckham, who underwent surgery on April 16 to remove a fractured hamate bone in his left hand, began taking swings off a tee late last week and has slowly increased his workload in the past few days.
Although his rehab has progressed on the fast side of his original timetable of six to eight weeks, the month-long layoff has left Beckham anxious to get back as soon as he can.
"I don't feel like I haven't played in a while," Beckham said. "I feel like my body is ready. It's just a matter of time now to get the reps to get back up."
The second baseman is set to join Charlotte on Wednesday, but he said he isn't expecting to be in the lineup until Saturday, when the Knights travel to Buffalo.
Beckham will be joined in Charlotte by infielder Angel Sanchez, who was also sent there Wednesday to complete the final stage of his rehab from a lower back strain. Sanchez's only appearance this season came on April 9 in a loss to the Nationals, the same game Beckham injured his hand.
"It's one of those things that you feel good that they're going back out and will see how it feels, just to make sure they're healthy, just to get them going again," manager Robin Ventura said. "You can kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel for a couple guys getting healthy again."
Long homer proves a harbinger for Dunn
MINNEAPOLIS -- Adam Dunn's start to the season hasn't been a memorable one, with his batting average stuck in the sub-.200 range for the majority of the year. But the White Sox slugger shook off an 0-for-14 slump with authority in Tuesday's 4-2 victory against the Twins, launching his seventh home run 413 feet into the left-field stands.
The homer was the payoff Dunn had been looking for. His comfort level at the plate had improved slightly in the past week, but he wasn't getting positive results. On Monday, Dunn connected for a towering drive to center field, but Twins rookie Aaron Hicks made an impressive leaping catch at the wall.
One day later, Dunn got a break to go his way when he crushed a slider from Twins starter Kevin Correia.
"The last couple days, we tinkered with some things and I've hit some balls good," Dunn said. "Hopefully, it's the start of something good."
Dunn picked up where he left off in Wednesday's 9-4 victory, connecting on a two-run shot in the third inning and a second two-run homer in the eighth.
"I have nothing to blame," Dunn said. "I feel great. My body feels great. Everything feels like it's supposed to. I just haven't been able to get the results.
"It was good to see that at least for a couple games now, that the little tweaks and changes I've made in my setup … we're getting some results out of them."
Dunn had labored to find some semblance of consistency at the plate, watching his average drop to .137 with 48 strikeouts in 124 at-bats this season. The rocky start is similar to his first two months with the White Sox in 2011, when he hit .185 with five home runs.
Dunn has remained levelheaded throughout the slump, and he seemed to be a bit more at ease Tuesday after picking up a big hit, despite striking out twice afterward. That manifested itself in his big-time game on Wednesday.
"Guys who play long enough always end up going through something like this. I expect him to get out of it," manager Robin Ventura said. "It's kind of the same as seeing guys with a track record who aren't doing it right now. You expect them to get out of it."
• White Sox designated hitter Paul Konerko was back in the lineup Wednesday after sitting out the past two games. Following a scheduled day off on Monday, manager Robin Ventura chose to give Konerko an extra day to regroup. Konerko entered Wednesday's game hitting .214 with four home runs and 16 RBIs.
• Jesse Crain's torrid start to the season remained intact Tuesday. The White Sox setup man tallied his 14th consecutive scoreless appearance in a 4-2 victory over the Twins. Crain has been one of the best relievers in the American League this year, entering Wednesday with an ERA of 1.00 and 25 strikeouts in 18 innings.
Nate Sandell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.