Beckham hurt again as Sox drop 10th in a row on the road
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN August 15, 2013 10:33PM
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MINNEAPOLIS — You have to wonder what kind of statistical package Gordon Beckham would be putting together had he stayed healthy all season long.
Beckham sure does. He got hurt again Thursday, leaving in the fourth inning of the White Sox’ 4-3 loss to the Twins with a strained right quad after he had singled in two at-bats to raise his average to .311.
The White Sox lost on pinch hitter Chris Herrmann’s single against Ramon Troncoso in the ninth. It was the 10th road loss in a row for the Sox.
Beckham’s numbers would play out to 33 doubles, six homers, 70 runs and 30 RBI in 150 games. That’s more in line with the bar he set as a rookie in 2009 and much better than his last three seasons.
“It’s definitely a positive step in the right direction,’’ Beckham said before the game. “I’ve had to battle through some stuff this season. You wonder what you could do in a full season, but sitting and watching the game for six weeks [after having a hamate bone removed] was not a bad thing.’’
Beckham has been bothered by the quad, and manager Robin Ventura and trainer Herm Schneider decided to take him out after seeing him run out a grounder during the third inning. Ventura said Beckham probably will be out for a couple of days, but it could be more.
He’s had enough of that, missing games after playing through the after-effects of surgery and getting kneed in the thigh by Casper Wells. But he repeated the value of sitting back and watching games from a different perspective on the bench. He took notice of things he hadn’t seen when he played every day.
“It might have helped me in a lot of ways. Why wouldn’t it?’’ he said. “You see what’s good, what’s bad. If you want to be good . . . you see what you like and don’t like.’’
The Sox like Beckham’s .362 on-base percentage, second only to Adam Dunn on the team.
“[Paul] Konerko said it best [Wednesday],’’ Beckham said. “He said whenever you start going bad, you need to embrace your inner flea. Like, you’re not a power guy. I’ve hit some homers, and I can do that [16 last season while batting .234].’’
Beckham smiled big talking about his inner flea as Konerko walked by his locker.
“Hey, Paul, it’s out there, the inner flea.’’
But Konerko’s point resonated with Beckham.
“There’s a time for [power], and it’s almost like you work up to that and then you get to a point where you fall right back down and say, ‘All right, I just want to get some hits.’ And you work that up and maybe you hit a homer. I thought that was funny. In years past, I haven’t tried to embrace my inner flea.’’
After Dunn singled in a run in the first, Beckham scored on Konerko’s sacrifice fly. Alexei Ramirez gave the Sox and rookie right-hander Andre Rienzo a 3-0 lead with a sac fly in the third.
Rienzo (six innings, two runs, no walks) gave up a homer to Trevor Plouffe in the fifth and the Sox’ 54th unearned run in the sixth because of Ramirez’s 20th error. The Twins tied it in the eighth against Nate Jones on Justin Morneau’s single to right that scored Joe Mauer (double). Avisail Garcia made a strong, accurate throw, but Mauer eluded catcher Josh Phegley’s swoop tag.
When Beckham returns, he figures to stick with his same plan.
“In the past, I would try to get more,’’ he said. “Instead of getting a single, I’d try to hit a double or a home run. This year, I have totally thrown that away. It’s about squaring up the ball, putting it in play and not striking out, and it’s working out better than it has in the past.’’