White Sox’ Gordon Beckham a non-starter for 2nd consecutive game
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org August 16, 2012 10:42PM
Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis struggles to get the ball to first on Jeff Mathis’ infield single in the eighth inning. | Aaron Vincent Elkaim~AP
Updated: September 18, 2012 6:20AM
TORONTO — Gordon Beckham, 0-for-8 in the series and batting .171 in his last 41 games, didn’t start for the second consecutive game Thursday. Manager Robin Ventura gave Beckham another seat by playing Ray Olmedo at second.
‘‘I’d like to be out there playing,’’ Beckham said when asked if he thought he could use a day off. ‘‘The only way you can get better is to get out there.’’
Beckham said his body feels fine, but Ventura said his swing looks tired.
‘‘It’s that time of year when you need a little break,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘You can’t see the end yet. This is a tough time of the year.’’
When Orlando Hudson fouled a pitch off his toe Wednesday, Beckham replaced him, so his day off was history. As for the tired swing, Beckham said he hadn’t heard that from Ventura.
The frustration has been evident after recent at-bats.
‘‘It does wear on me a little bit,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re in a race, so there’s no time to worry about whether I’m fighting the swing or whatever. I just have to start finding some holes and have better at-bats.’’
Ventura gave Alejandro De Aza the night off and started Dewayne Wise in center field.
Konerko ready, waiting
Paul Konerko flew from Chicago to Kansas City to meet the team for its three-game series that opens Friday. Konerko must meet the requirements for clearance to come off the disabled list for concussions.
‘‘He’ll come early and do some stuff,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘We’ll go from there. Everything leading up to it, he looks fine, and it looks like he’ll be able to play.’’
Ventura’s faith is growing in lefty reliever Donnie Veal, who hasn’t allowed a hit while striking out six in his three appearances. That might mean Leyson Septimo is the odd man out when Konerko is activated, but Septimo is out of options, and the Sox are high on his potential.
Ventura seems high on Veal, 27, especially against left-handed hitters.
‘‘Yeah, he’s got a good breaking ball, and he still has velocity,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘I was watching him a little closer on how he was with the lefties. . . . His angle on the curveball is tough.’’
Even though the Sox went 3-1 in this series, the Blue Jays have won 16 of their last 22 against them at Rogers Centre.
‘‘There’s no reason for it,’’ said Ventura, whose team broke the Jays’ string of five season-series victories. ‘‘Other teams go places and just don’t play well. Right now, I don’t have that because I haven’t been around it with this team. I don’t believe in it as of right now. I don’t have to give in to it.’’
This and that
Jim Cornelison will sing the national anthem and coach Joel Quenneville will throw out the first pitch before the Sox play the Yankees on Monday on Blackhawks Night at U.S. Cellular Field.
† ESPN has picked up the Sox’ game Wednesday against the Yankees. Channel 26 also will broadcast the game at the normal 7:10 p.m. starting time.