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Jones trying to keep energy under control

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ARLINGTON -- Nate Jones' last two relief outings (five earned runs over two innings) raised his April ERA from 2.79 to 6.17. That rough patch came after Jones made five straight scoreless appearances over a two-week period.

While Jones said that he wasn't executing pitches in allowing four runs over two-thirds of an inning on Tuesday, he points to controlling energy on the mound as the biggest point of concern.

"I think it's all about mainly staying back," Jones said. "I get too anxious out there and very excited and [I'm] learning to control that geek and staying back with my mechanics."

White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper believes the hard-throwing rookie who put up a 2.39 ERA over 65 games in 2012 hasn't suddenly lost his stuff in 2013.

"It's a matter of him getting ahead and not trying to do too much," Cooper said. "Every time he throws a pitch, it's a two-strike put-away pitch.

"He doesn't have to make the breaking ball any nastier than it is. The fastball any harder. He just has to locate it better. That's what he hasn't been doing on a consistent basis as of yet. I have confidence it will happen."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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