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Tigers and White Sox postponed by rain

May 7, 2009 - 3:09 AM CHICAGO(AP) -- Alexei Ramirez got the night off Wednesday, and he can expect to rest on Thursday, too.

The Chicago White Sox's game against the Detroit Tigers was postponed because of rain Wednesday night. The game was called after a delay of 1 hour, 13 minutes. A makeup date wasn't announced.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was planning to give his struggling shortstop the night off. Ramirez, a spark plug for the 2008 AL Central Division winners, is off to a slow start that has Guillen worried.

Ramirez is hitting .211 with one homer, after hitting .290 with 21 home runs last year and finished behind Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria for AL Rookie of the Year. He will likely be out of Thursday's lineup against the Tigers.

"I always tell my players, give yourself a chance. Get good at-bats. But when you see one at-bat after another, after another, after another, and no results, no adjustments - we talked to Alexei a few times," Guillen said. "I don't mind 0 for 4. I don't mind struggles. I don't mind being in a slump. But how are you in a slump? How do you do something about it? I need some offense, and that's the reason we're going to put (Jayson) Nix back there. Because I need the offense."

Guillen is not going to wait for Ramirez to get going since his club has lost four straight.Nix is 3 for 7 after being activated from a rehab assignment in Triple-A Charlotte.

"There's one thing about Nix. I never fall in love with any players until they show me they can play in the big leagues. But he's got three games, two games, and every at-bat this kid fights. He might not get a hit, but he will fight. And we'll see what happens. I'm not saying the Missile is going to be on the bench for the rest of the season, but I've got to send a notice," said Guillen, who did not talk to Ramirez on Wednesday.

Guillen said he will back up his pitching rotation one day, with scheduled starter Mark Buehrle set to start Thursday night against the Tigers.

Detroit's Armando Galarraga, also scheduled to start Wednesday, will take the mound Thursday. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he'll skip Zach Miner's scheduled start.

Leyland has his own player to worry about: Magglio Ordonez is hitting .232. On Tuesday, Leyland dropped Ordonez in the order to sixth in the Tigers win over the Twins. Before Wednesday's game was called because of rain, Leyland penciled him in as the designated hitter so he can concentrate more on his hitting. Ordonez also worked with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon in the cages.

"I actually had him in right field tonight, and to the suggestion of McClendon, he said 'Why don't we give him one more day to just concentrate on hitting?" Leyland said.

Leyland said Ordonez can expect to be back in the field soon.

"(You) don't want to all of a sudden get labeled as the DH, so you've got to be careful with that. It's easy for everybody else to say, but for the manager it's a little bit different," Leyland said. "And he's not the DH, he's DHing."

Notes: The White Sox had its fourth game postponed because of weather. ... The Tiger had its second game rained out. The other game was a home date against the White Sox on April 14. ... Guillen decided not to skip Jose Contreras in the rotation. Contreras is 0-4 with a 8.31 ERA.

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