ANAHEIM -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura has a simple rule for when the schedule doesn't fall in his team's favor, as is the case this week."I don't make it, I just set an itinerary and then let's go," Ventura said. Still, this week's travel schedule for the White Sox is a bit perplexing. They played two games to start the week at home against Detroit. Then the club flew to Anaheim, where they opened a two-game set on Wednesday, and then they fly back for a weekend series at Wrigley against the Cubs. Ventura opted to leave Friday's starter Phil Humber in Chicago when the team went to Anaheim. Typically, when a starter is scheduled to pitch the day after a travel day, they'll travel with the team, and then head home a day early. But with a two-game set, Ventura didn't see much point in bringing Humber out to Anaheim for one day only. Humber was the only pitcher the White Sox left behind, as Ventura noted the other starters still need to get their between-starts work in, and that's best accomplished with the full club. "It's weird to play two games, especially the last couple days against teams that are in your division," Ventura said. "It's odd to have the two games with the Tigers and come out here for these two and then right back."
Pierzynski breaking out of slump
ANAHEIM -- All A.J. Pierzynski said he needed was to see a ball off his bat touch the outfield grass. Then the flood gates would open.That's exactly what happened in Tuesday's loss in Detroit, where the White Sox catcher's five hits were as many as he had banged out in his last nine games combined. Pierzynski said he didn't make any major adjustments when taking batting practice, though he worked hard to make sure his swing was OK. "The bottom line is this game is hard and pitchers are good," Pierzynski said. "You just want to have good at-bats and hopefully they fall in." They did, and now Pierzynski feels he is out of his funk. "When you're struggling, not doing what you're capable of doing or hitting how you're hitting, sometimes all it takes is to see a ball hitting the outfield grass," Pierzynski said. Manager Robin Ventura pointed to all the work Pierzynski had put in inside the cages during a six-game stretch in which he hit .150. Ventura even noted that he likes the way Pierzynski has swung recently -- enough so that he may consider moving him to the two-hole. "I think you get to a point where you might overswing a little bit," Ventura said of what may have caused Pierzynski's recent struggles. "Instead of just staying with what he was doing early, you try to go up there and try to hit a home run instead of just doing what you're doing."
Ventura ready for criticism
ANAHEIM -- Robin Ventura's decision to keep starting pitcher Jake Peavy in the game during the sixth inning of the White Sox loss to Detroit on Tuesday drew some criticism from fans and media."I knew that was coming with this job," Ventura said before Wednesday's game against the Angels. "If everybody likes you, it's just that the players are playing well." He pointed out that he learned very well what to expect when he was a TV announcer for ESPN. "I get what people say about the intricacies of when you're making moves, that it's easier to see it on the other side," Ventura said. "I did TV, too. It's very easy to do it there." Ventura also noted one thing he's learned is that sometimes the bigger picture of the full season can get lost in the day-to-day shuffle of fans seeking results right now. "The way he's been pitching, if you take him out and you lose that, people can go on the other side of that," Ventura said. "It's always easier to see it once everything else has happened and the game is over."
AJ Cassavell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.