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Ventura loads speed at top of lineup

Ventura loads speed at top of lineup

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Ventura loads speed at top of lineup
TORONTO -- With cleanup hitter Paul Konerko on the seven-day disabled list while recovering from a concussion, White Sox manager Robin Ventura chose to make some changes to his lineup for Tuesday's contest against the Blue Jays.

Ventura stacked the top of his lineup with speed in an effort to manufacture more runs. Alejandro De Aza remained the leadoff hitter but was followed by Dewayne Wise and Alex Rios.

Rios has primarily hit fifth, where Kevin Youkilis was slotted Tuesday. Youkilis has been hitting out of the two-hole since the White Sox acquired him.

Ventura likes the idea of having Adam Dunn, Youkilis and A.J. Pierzynski, three of the club's bigger run producers, hitting behind Rios, who began the day second on the team with a .314 average.

"We will probably go back to what people are used to when Paul gets back," Ventura said.

Ventura feels his club has become too dependent on the long ball and hopes that a switch will help generate some extra runs. Chicago entered Tuesday's action third in the Majors with 146 home runs, trailing only the Yankees (178) and Blue Jays (156).

The White Sox have scored two runs or fewer in three of their past six games, and the only runs they got in Monday's 3-2 loss was off a pair of solo homers by Dunn.

"It's a reflection of [Konerko] being out but it is also ... you have to find a new identity without him being in there, I think that's more of what it is" Ventura said. "You can't just plug somebody else into his spot and expect that it is going to be the same, because it is not.

"So you have to find a different way to do it."

Ventura said he didn't relay his decision to switch up the order to any of his players and that none of them came to speak with him about the changes, either. He was pleased about that.

"They just play. They realize it doesn't matter where you hit," he said.

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