Knee injury could be excuse for White Sox to place Adam Dunn on disabled list

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Adam Dunn was benched yesterday for the second straight game as his season-long slump gets deeper and deeper, and now the White Sox are saying the struggling designated hitter has a sore knee.

Or at least that’s the official reason manager Ozzie Guillen gave for sitting Dunn, although “we faced lefties in both games and Dunn can’t hit them to save his life” would have been a sufficient explanation. Dunn is 2-for-64 versus southpaws this season.

Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago writes that Guillen didn’t even know which knee was bothering Dunn, speculating that the injury may simply be a way for the White Sox to get him out of the lineup and on to the disabled list for an extended break.

Chicago is off today and for now Dunn is scheduled to rejoin the lineup tomorrow, but there’s a DH alternative crushing the ball at Triple-A, where 22-year-old Dayan Viciedo is hitting .311 with 16 homers, 24 doubles, and an .876 OPS.

Of course, getting Dunn on the DL and Viciedo into the lineup would be a short-term solution for a long-term problem, as he’s under contract for $14 million in 2012 and $15 million in both 2013 and 2014. Assuming he doesn’t retire, that it.

Angels’ Pujols passes Mays for 5th on homer list with No. 661

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols passed Willie Mays for fifth place on the career home run list, hitting No. 661 on Friday night against Texas.

The 40-year-old Pujols connected for a solo homer with two outs in the fifth inning. He sent Wes Benjamin‘s fastball on a 1-2 count over the wall in left field.

Pujols has hit five homers this season. He tied Mays last Sunday at Colorado.

It is only Pujols’ second home run since Aug. 4. He now trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696).

Pujols has one more season left on his contract with the Angels after this year.

Benjamin was the 428th different pitcher Pujols homered against in his career. Only Bonds has homered against more pitchers (449).