5/7/2014 1:12 A.M. ET
Beckham's patience at the plate pays off
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Gordon Beckham has not been as mechanically sound as he would like to be at the plate over the last 11 games since coming off the disabled list.
Unlike moments of struggle from years past, though, the White Sox veteran second baseman understands there are better days ahead. One of those better days came during the a 5-1 victory Tuesday at Wrigley Field, with Beckham matching a career high of four hits and delivering the game-deciding homer in the eighth.
"I'm obviously not satisfied by what I've done, but I've been in this situation a lot," Beckham told MLB.com before Tuesday's contest. "Although I'm not happy, I don't feel any panic right now. I know whatever the track record, I know I don't hit .150.
"I feel like I'm off to a slow start. I wish I'd make it a little bit easier on myself, but it is what it is. I'll bounce back and once I start going, I think I'll get back in the groove, and it won't be a day-to-day thing where you are trying to get that day to get over the hump and all of a sudden you start rolling. It will happen sooner."
Beckham entered Tuesday's contest hitting .167 with one RBI and two doubles. He admits that the left oblique strain leaving him on the disabled list to start the 2014 season might have affected his swing upon his return.
"Obviously, it has affected my swing a little bit as I've come back and not hit much at all," Beckham said. "It's just a matter of time before I start getting the feel of bringing my hands through more than my body.
"Right now, my body wants to do the work that I've probably got in a habit, too, my oblique couldn't take the pressure of just using my hands. I would say that for sure.
"But there's no excuse," Beckham said. "I've been having OK at-bats. They vary. Good and then bad. I need to clean it up on the at-bats. I think the hits will start coming. I feel better after I hit early BP today."
Beckham singled in the first inning Tuesday night against Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson, but was picked off first base for the second out of the inning. He singled in his next two at-bats before hitting a tiebreaking home run with two outs in the eighth to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead, and finished 4-for-5.
Bruised right calf leaves Dunn on sidelines
CHICAGO -- Adam Dunn was scratched from Tuesday's starting lineup with a bruised right calf and replaced by Moises Sierra. Dayan Viciedo moved from right field to left field, and Sierra took over in right, knocking out a career-high four hits in a 5-1 victory over the Cubs.
Dunn mentioned before the game that he was inadvertently kicked in the calf by Starlin Castro in the ninth inning on a close play at first during Monday's victory. Dunn was ready to go and back in left field pregame before the late scratch, but ended up as a pinch-hitter in the eighth because he wasn't able to run at full speed
"That play yesterday at first, his knee hit me in the calf. Obviously just a bruise," Dunn said. "Last night, I didn't know how bad it was, and today, it was sore and I thought it would loosen up and it never did. I'm not going to go out there in left field and make a complete and total [fool] of myself by not being able to move."
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said that Dunn could be back Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field at designated hitter but wasn't certain.
"He couldn't really run around the outfield. I don't know if you saw him running down the line but it wasn't ... he couldn't really run," said Ventura. "It was right before the game of sending him out there and knowing he couldn't really go after anything if it was hit in the outfield."
Sierra working on consistency at the plate
CHICAGO -- Moises Sierra made his first start as part of the White Sox, taking over in right field Tuesday after Adam Dunn was scratched with a bruised right calf, and delivered a career-high four hits in a 5-1 victory over the Cubs. The right-handed-hitting Sierra was claimed off of waivers from the Blue Jays on Saturday after being designated for assignment on May 1.
"I feel very happy to be here," said Sierra, before the game, through interpreter and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "I feel happy that the organization picked me up off waivers. Those were kind of tough times for me, so I'm very happy to be here.
"We're going to work on consistency. My consistency at the plate is one of those things that hasn't been there. We're going to work hard with the people here, the hitting coach, and whoever can help me. I'm willing to work."
Sierra, 25, was 2-for-34 in 34 games with the Blue Jays this season, but he hit .317 (26-for-82) with 12 doubles and 11 RBIs last September. Sierra ranked among the American Leaguer leaders last September in doubles (third), extra-base hits (tied for fourth, 14), slugging percentage (eighth, .524) and on-base percentage (ninth, .385).
Because of injuries to Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia, Sierra will get more of an extended chance to prove himself with the White Sox.
"We're in a spot where we can give a guy a shot for a little while and see what happens," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
"Absolutely, I remember that as a positive," said Sierra of last September. "Last year, I was able to do a few things right, and I had some pretty good results offensively. I had the consistency of playing every day. That to me is important to get in a rhythm."
Semien a realist about looming roster decisions
CHICAGO -- Coming through in the clutch with the game on the line is nothing new for rookie Marcus Semien, whose 12th-inning, go-ahead double on Monday marked his fourth go-ahead hit in the seventh inning or later this season. There's also the possibility that the man with three go-ahead homers in the seventh inning or later could be back at Triple-A Charlotte in the next few days.
Conor Gillaspie is nearing the end of his rehab assignment with the Knights, testing his bruised left hand that placed him on the disabled list, and is eligible to return Wednesday. The White Sox will have a tough move to make upon Gillaspie's return, be it most likely Semien, Leury Garcia or Jordan Danks.
Garcia is also able to play the outfield, while Danks works as a defensive replacement in the outfield off the bench. Semien would only make sense as the odd man out if the White Sox decide they want him to play on an everyday basis, which he would not at the big league level with Gordon Beckham and Gillaspie back. That potential move is not even a passing thought for Semien at this moment.
"I haven't thought about that at all. Whatever situation is brought to me, I'm a professional. I'll be ready for any situation," Semien said. "It's about playing ball, that's what we are paid to do. That's what we love to do. Wherever you are at, give it your best."
That personal best also includes a different sort of focus in preparation for Semien if he moves into more of a part-time role upon Gillaspie's return.
"We have a good problem to have here, because we have a lot of depth," Semien said. "I'm going to keep working the same way I do every day. Keep improving on things I need to work on.
"There are always things I need to work on. Iron some things out. Continue to have good at-bats when I'm in there and do my homework and come off the bench, really do my homework, left-handed bullpen pitchers or whatever situation I'm put in and keep my game fine-tuned."
Third to first
• According to Ventura, Chris Sale felt good the day after Monday's 40-pitch sideline session off the mound.
"Just continue to keep going down that path," said Ventura of his left-handed ace, who has been on the disabled list retroactive to April 18. "There's no setback, so you continue to just let him kind of go at his pace."
In keeping with the White Sox policy of not updating every Sale move on this road back, Ventura said his next session would be "in the near future."
"He's just progressing. I'm not sitting there planning a day for him," Ventura said. "I know [pitching coach Don Cooper] is doing most of that, but there's no setbacks. He's on his way."
• Paul Konerko leads all American League players in games (35), hits (37) and RBIs (26) at Wrigley Field and ranks second in homers (seven) and extra-base hits (11). Konerko was honored by the Cubs prior to Tuesday's game, with Jeff Samardzija presenting the White Sox captain his No. 14 from the Wrigley Field scoreboard.
• Alexei Ramirez needs 10 games at shortstop to pass Chico Carrasquel (835) for fourth most in franchise history.