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White Sox’ Ramirez searching for answers to end season-long slump

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2012 11:34 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO (MCT) — After an 0-for-3 performance with two strikeouts Tuesday night, White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez admitted he was frustrated but not just because of the lack of results.

“Normally this is where everything starts to sink in,” Ramirez said Wednesday. “I just don’t know the reason why it has not.”

Ramirez entered Wednesday night’s game against the Twins with a .207 batting average, and he’s hitting .200 this month. Ramirez is a notorious slow starter but usually starts to warm up in May, in which he’s a career .277 hitter.

Ramirez has noticed opposing pitchers are jamming him with fastballs, especially since he has been batting lower in the order.

“I’ve also taken some swings at some bad pitches,” Ramirez said. “That’s something to make amends for.”

Morel on mend: Third baseman Brent Morel was more affable than usual Wednesday because he learned his lower back injury won’t require surgery and that he could return shortly after he spends the minimum 15 days on the disabled list.

Morel said his injury involves the facet joint around his lower back and he plans to start a new training program Thursday.

“It can be controlled very easily in the training room and calming it down,” said Morel, who added he met with general manager Ken Williams, team trainers and club physicians.

“After it calms down, it’s something I can stay on top of a lot easier than what we thought,” Morel said.

Morel refused to use his back as an excuse for his .177 batting average and 39 strikeouts, although it was obvious his back pain has restricted him on outside pitches.

“I put myself out there and I was playing,” Morel said. “I was trying to help the team win.”

Praise for police: The Sox had an in-game tribute to members of the Chicago Police Department for their service during the NATO summit.

Manager Robin Ventura wore a Chicago police cap before the game and said he was well aware of the presence of officers around the city during the summit.

“I had to take a couple of left turns to get here because they blocked off some streets,” Ventura said. “It took a while to get around, but they were keeping everybody safe and they did a nice job.”

Ventura praised law enforcement officials for running operations smoothly and informing the public constantly.

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