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Crain edging closer to return from DL

Caption
(Genevieve Ross)
Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Jesse Crain throws against the Minnesota Twins during a baseball game, Thursday, June 20, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross)

CHICAGO – The White Sox could soon see one of their most valuable trade assets back on the mound.

Reliever Jesse Crain, on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain, threw 33 pitches – only fastballs and changeups – during his bullpen session and should he feel OK on Wednesday, he will throw again Thursday. Pitching coach Don Cooper said Crain might be ready to come off the DL sometime between Sunday and Tuesday if everything goes well this week. That would give the Sox a small window to showcase Crain before the trade deadline July 31.

Cooper does not expect Crain will need a rehab appearance, instead having him throw in a simulated game like he did last year, when he came back from the same injury.

“We want to do it to the point where he’s maybe a tad fatigued, making sure you’ve got that good workout in and feel good before, during and after,” Cooper said of Tuesday’s bullpen session. “Now we’re waiting on the after. … In my mind, it was a step in a positive direction.”

Sale apologizes to Ventura: After an outburst in the dugout during Monday’s loss to the Tigers, pitcher Chris Sale met with manager Robin Ventura to settle the situation.

Sale was visibly upset by Ventura’s decision to intentionally walk Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera with two outs to step up a lefty-against-lefty matchup against Prince Fielder in the fifth inning. He exchanged words with Ventura in the tunnel leading to the Sox’s dugout after he finished the inning.

“You get into the heat of battle sometimes and exchange some words,” Sale said. “It’s going to take a whole heck of a lot more than an in-game misunderstanding to throw us off track. We’ve cleared the air and we’re moving forward from it and brush it under the rug.”

Although he didn’t think it was that big of an issue, Sale said Tuesday that he was embarrassed by his actions.

“I get the emotions of him being a pitcher and what he means, but he has to understand my job and being in my seat what I have to do,” Ventura said.

Dunn confounded by cheaters: Sox slugger Adam Dunn still doesn’t understand why a player would cheat and use performance-enhancing drugs, calling them “crazy.”

With Monday’s news that Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun would be suspended without pay for the rest of the season (65 games) – stemming from his involvement with Biogenesis – Dunn said he doesn’t understand why a player would take PEDs with the risk of getting caught.

“You’re missing significant time and significant pay, and plus your name is smeared all over everywhere,” Dunn said. “I don’t know how much worse it could be.

“I’ve known [Braun] a long time, but how dumb can you be?” Dunn added. “It’s a shame because he’s one of the best out there.”

Dunn, who said he has been drug tested three or four times this season, said the onus is on the players to clean up the game.

“I think the embarrassment lies with the player,” Dunn said. “I can’t imagine. I don’t think I’d leave my house.”

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