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Struggling Pierzynski sits against Orioles

Struggling Pierzynski sits against Orioles

Struggling Pierzynski sits against Orioles
BALTIMORE -- White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski has gone hitless in his last 14 at-bats and is 5-for-32 (.156) over his past 10 games prior to Wednesday against the Orioles.

The veteran backstop wasn't in the lineup for the second time in four games on Wednesday, with backup Tyler Flowers getting the nod instead.

Despite those recent struggles, manager Robin Ventura didn't go so far as to say Pierzynski is dealing with a slump.

"I don't know if it's that," Ventura said before Wednesday's game. "I mean, he can get frustrated just like anybody else. I'm just trying to give him a break here or there.

"I think it's more for the mind than anything else. Tyler's been doing fine lately, so it's a good break for A.J."

Flowers entered Wednesday hitting .423 (11-for-26) with four home runs this month. Still, Ventura said Pierzynski would return to the lineup for Thursday afternoon's series finale.

Overall, Pierzynski is hitting .288 with an .861 OPS and a career-high 23 home runs. Ventura doesn't see anything amiss with the 35-year-old's swing.

"You can do a little bit of pitch selection, things like that," Ventura said. "But mechanically he's doing the same things. He's got great hands, probably just swinging at pitches he wishes he didn't."

The White Sox will likely will have to call up another catcher from the Minor Leagues before Thursday's game, with Flowers a candidate for paternity leave, with his wife expecting their first child.

Chicago has used only Pierzynski and Flowers behind the plate this season and doesn't have another backstop on its 40-man roster. Damaso Espino, Hector Gimenez and Josh Phegley are the current catchers at Triple-A Charlotte.

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