Adam Dunn to No. 5 spot in order

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn was dropped to the No. 5 spot in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Rays.

He went 1-for-3 with a strikeout and a walk in the White Sox's 4-1 loss.

Manager Ozzie Guillen said after Tuesday's defeat, the White Sox's sixth straight, that a lineup change was in store. Dunn has batted only in the No. 3 spot this season, but his personal struggles, as well as the team's issues on offense, prompted the new look.

"I just try to get him confidence," Guillen said before Wednesday's game. "This kid, when he got here, there was a lot of talk about how much he was going to help the ballclub. I'm going to give him a little confidence back, take a little pressure off himself and I hope he's not there [in the fifth spot] too long. I hope he goes back to the third spot. That's our plan. I think he's caring too much. He's not that type of player."

Dunn entered Wednesday just 2-for-23 since returning from an April 6 appendectomy and has struck out 14 times, including three times in each of his past two games. Guillen said he plans on moving Dunn back into the No. 3 spot when he starts hitting again.

"I don't care where I hit in the lineup," Dunn said before the game. "I need to get that feel back I had before I had the stupid surgery. You know, hopefully it will be sooner than later."

Carlos Quentin, who started the season batting sixth, was moved up to the No. 3 hole. Alex Rios was solid in the No. 3 spot last season, but he is among a number of White Sox players struggling at the plate.

The White Sox entered Wednesday batting just .205 in their past 10 games (67-for-327) with 29 runs scored, after batting .319 with 52 runs scored in the first seven games.

Breaking balls and straight changeups have been giving Dunn fits of late as his efforts to get his timing back have been thwarted.

"I have no excuses whatsoever," Dunn said Wednesday. " I feel great until I start swinging. Then, for some reason, my swing path is not there. It's got me swinging at everything. But I know it will come around. I just don't know when."

Dunn said he isn't bothered by anything physically; it's simply the days away when he wasn't seeing pitches that has him in a tailspin.

"It seems like every at-bat I'm 0-and-2," he said. "I'm taking the good ones and swinging at the bad ones. But again that's something I have gone through many, many, many, many, many, many, many times in my career. One thing I know that I will come out of it. I've been there so many times."

Dunn's struggles have mirrored the team's as the White Sox no longer look like that offensive powerhouse that started fast this season. Instead they look like the club that appeared to be dragging at the end of spring training.

"Hitting is contagious. You've heard it forever. You see it this year," Dunn said. "When guys are hitting, so are other guys. I don't know why or how, that's how it works. When it's not [working], you see a guy get out in front of you, then you want to try a little harder to get a hit or get on base. You get out and the guy behind you feels like he needs to get on. It snowballs."

Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com.