K totals rising fast for White Sox

CHICAGO -- The all-or-nothing Chicago White Sox, who hit five home runs over the first two games, are watching their strikeout totals rise quickly in the early going of the 2013 season.

In Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals, the White Sox went down on strikes 12 times, including four from Dayan Viciedo and three more from Adam Dunn.

They finished the opening three-game series with 29 strikeouts, still less than the 36 the Los Angeles Angels recorded in their opening series against the Cincinnati Reds and well under the whopping 43 the Houston Astros had in three games against the Texas Rangers.

While adding Tyler Flowers to a lineup that already had Viciedo and Dunn, strikeouts were a concern. It's why the White Sox brought aboard Jeff Keppinger, who is known for his ability to make contact.

With the White Sox facing the Royals' Jeremy Guthrie, Sox manager Robin Ventura wasn't going to make much of a 12-strikeout day.

"I think there was some good pitching today," he said. "That's the way it goes. There were good contact hitters that struck out also. Tip your hat and go get them tomorrow."

Despite the fact that Dunn led baseball with 222 strikeouts last season, the Sox's combined strikeout total of 1,203 was only 18th most among all 30 major league teams. The White Sox averaged 7.4 strikeouts per game last season compared to their 9.7 average over the first three games this season.