8/20/2013 11:18 P.M. ET
Keppinger pulled out of lineup; Gillaspie returns
By Robert Falkoff / Special to MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- Third baseman Jeff Keppinger was a late scratch from the White Sox lineup Tuesday night because of a stiff lower back, and Conor Gillaspie was inserted at third after missing a couple of games with a bruised left hand.
Gillespie, who was in the No. 7 slot, gave Chicago another left-handed hitter against Royals right-hander Ervin Santana.
"I think it's one of those that's more precautionary," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We're in a position where we can have Conor go in and not push Kep to have to go out there and play. [Keppinger] is still available if something happens."
Keppinger arrived at Kauffman Stadium having gone 12-of-31 with two doubles, a homer, three RBIs and seven runs scored over his last 10 games.
Ventura hopes to see more positives during stretch run
KANSAS CITY -- Whether you're in a playoff chase or confined to the role of spoiler, winning always beats the alternative. The revamped White Sox had the opportunity to enjoy an off-day on Monday with a three-game winning streak and a 9-5 mark over their last 14 games.
It's a trend that manager Robin Ventura would love to see continue over the final six weeks of the season.
"It's just better," Ventura said before his club posted a 2-0 victory over the Royals for their fourth straight win on Tuesday night. "When you win games, it changes the mood and the feeling when you go into a game. Guys are looking more for good things to happen instead of bad things to happen. Just because you do it at the end doesn't guarantee it will happen at the beginning of [next] year. But again, it's just good to get this group playing well and expecting to win."
If the White Sox are going to finish strong, they'll have to get it done against quality opponents. The South Siders began a stretch on Tuesday in which they will play 23 of their next 26 games against teams above .500. During that stretch, the White Sox will play each first-place team in the American League -- Boston, Detroit and Texas.
Alexei having success in No. 3 hole
KANSAS CITY -- It's a small sample size, but the No. 3 spot in the batting order has been a sweet spot for Alexei Ramirez.
The White Sox shortstop went into Tuesday's game against the Royals with a .319 batting average, three homers and 11 RBIs in 11 games hitting third in the lineup.
"He is swinging the bat better and pulling the ball with some pop," manager Robin Ventura said. " Maybe it's just a mindset that he has. There's something about batting third. Some guys like it, some guys don't. Right now, he does. You leave him alone and let him go play."
Ramirez went 0-for-4 in Tuesday night's 2-0 victory.
• Right-hander Tyler Danish, the second-round pick of the White Sox in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, has been promoted from Advanced Rookie Bristol to Class A Kannapolis.
Danish, 18, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA and a .165 batting average against in 13 games for Bristol. He threw 10 consecutive scoreless innings over his final five games.
• Regions Field, the first-year home for Double-A Birmingham, has been named 2013 Ballpark of the Year by Baseballparks.com. Birmingham is on pace to reach 400,000 fans for just the fourth time in franchise history. This season's attendance of 354,972 is the highest since the Michael Jordan season of 1994 (467,868).
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.