Dunn: Sox feeling pressure down stretch

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn said Monday he believes he and his teammates are putting too much pressure on themselves and need to relax over the season’s final 10 games.

The White Sox entered Monday’s game against the Cleveland Indians on a five-game losing streak, which included losing twice to the Kansas City Royals and being swept by the Los Angeles Angels. The White Sox were outscored 21-8 in the five losses.

“I think when you’re trying so hard to get something done, you’re only human,” said Dunn, who hasn’t had an RBI in his last seven games. “People are trying so hard to get things done. If this happened in May, June, July, there’s obviously no pressure. We just need to take a step back, relax and realize we are in first place and we are in a really, really good position.”

White Sox manager Robin Ventura didn’t believe it was such a simple task for his players to relax.

“It’s easier said than done,” Ventura said. “You can say relax and everything else, but when you’re the one at the plate, it becomes different. Hopefully that changes. But I understand it. It’s one of those where everybody wants to do well. You want to be the guy knocking guys in, you want to be that person. But they’re the ones that need to relax.”

The White Sox have remained in first place in the American League Central despite their recent struggles. They took a three-game lead on the Detroit Tigers when they defeated the Tigers on Sept. 17. Since then, the White Sox are 1-6, and the Tigers are 3-3.

The White Sox currently hold a one-game lead on the Tigers. The Tigers begin a four-game series with the Royals on Monday.

“You can’t worry about what other teams are doing,” Dunn said. “We’re in first place. That’s what people are forgetting. We are in first place still. And if we win as many games as we can and we play well, we go to the playoffs. When you have a lead, you don’t have to scoreboard watch. It’s nice (if) you win, they lose, blah, blah, blah. But we win them all and they win them all, guess who goes?”

Ventura remains confident in his team.

“Well, we’ve played well most of the year,” Ventura said. “Again, we’ve gone through spurts like this during the year with where we’re at, with these same guys. Again, I’m proud of the way they’ve done things. The effort’s been there, just continue to play.”