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Big day by Ramirez gives Guillen e-mail material
By Scot Gregor | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 6/28/2009 8:40 PM

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Alexei Ramirez has seemingly been in White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen's doghouse all season.

The 27-year-old shortstop broke off the leash during Sunday's 6-0 win over the Cubs, going 3-for-5 with a 2-run homer and making a standout defensive play in the sixth inning.

Ramirez has been hearing about his "lazy" fielding recently, and Guillen benched him in April for his poor approach with the bat.

No harm done.

"I think it's good," Ramirez said through an interpreter. "He continues to show me respect and continues to give me the confidence to compete. I want to keep doing what I'm doing on the positive side to earn his trust and the trust of the fans."

Guillen has read plenty of e-mails from Sox fans suggesting he move Ramirez to center field.

"He's going to be my shortstop as long as he wants to be," Guillen said. "I'm going to stick with it. All the fans out there, they want me to move him to center field. They're not going to see Alexei in center field."

Ramirez is batting .382 (13-for-34) over his last eight games.

"Alexei, he impressed me the way he's been hitting lately," Guillen said. "He went from .095 to .270 almost. Sometimes, I think he's carrying his bat to shortstop."

Not so fast: Even though the White Sox have won 6 of their last 8 and are a game under .500 (37-38), manager Ozzie Guillen isn't getting carried away.

"They've got to show me better," Guillen said.

Are you excited?

"Not right now, because every time I feel that way, my heart's been broken," Guillen said. "Big time. I'm going to take it one day at a time and try to move on real sneaky and quiet and see where we are in September.

"Right now, you hope it's so good, you see what we've got and we're close to getting there. I think we're close to getting there, but I don't want to think about that yet because I don't want to have a broken heart."

Guillen said it's crucial for the Sox to play well on the upcoming road trip to Cleveland and Kansas City. The Indians are last in the AL Central and the Royals fourth.

"We've been playing well on the road," right fielder Jermaine Dye said. "Hopefully, it continues. It's good to win a few series here at home and get a good feel of getting this team on the right track again."

Danks dominates: Sox starter John Danks pitched 7 solid innings against the Cubs, allowing just 4 hits.

"That's the plan every game, throw strikes and make them hit the ball on the ground," said Danks, who kept the Cubs off balance with a good changeup. "I didn't throw as many strikes this time around, but I feel like I was still able to make the big pitch when I had to, and guys were making plays all over the field for me."

Danks' fastball was a problem most of the afternoon.

"He was all right," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "He had a great changeup. His fastball was all over the place. He threw a couple of good sliders. He kept getting swings and misses and weak groundballs with the changeups."