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Adam Eaton’s energy is infectious, but he’s got to stay healthy

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Updated: July 23, 2014 12:14AM

Adam Eaton won a hustle award Tuesday. As you might expect, it’s one he’s quite proud of.

‘‘I’m pumped,’’ Eaton said. ‘‘My wife and I talked about it today. It’s my first big-league trophy, which is kind of cool.’’

Eaton, the White Sox’ leadoff man and center fielder, was named the recipient of the team’s Heart and Hustle Award. That’s his kind of plaque.

‘‘I hope to have the opportunity to get this award every year because it’s really something I believe in,’’
Eaton said.

Eaton has missed 22 games this season because of various ailments, and he’s playing with a broken middle finger on his right hand now. But it’s not something he wanted to talk about after confirming the break Monday.

Somehow, someway, Eaton has to stay healthy and be on the field for his talent to be useful. Some elements of his hard-nosed style have contributed to him getting hurt.

‘‘The health part has always been a question for him,’’ captain Paul Konerko said. ‘‘The way he plays, he’s kind of been in and out [of the lineup]. Ultimately, you have to be in there to have the impact you want to have. . . . If he gets it clicking like he wants to, that has to be a piece of the puzzle — to be on the field. If he’s on the field, he can do a lot of different things well.’’

It’s not for lack of trying that
Eaton has found himself out of the lineup more often than he’d like.

‘‘He’s got a broken finger, but he’s playing,’’ coach Daryl Boston said.

The Sox weren’t exactly brimming with spunk in their 7-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals at U.S. Cellular Field. An opposite-field home run by Adam Dunn in the fourth
inning against Bruce Chen was their only offense.

Wanting to get hot after winning three of their first four games out of the All-Star break, the Sox got nothing going. Right-hander Scott Carroll, who entered the game on a run of 112/3 consecutive scoreless innings, gave up 11 hits in five-plus innings.

Doubles by Billy Butler and Raul Ibanez started a sixth inning that got worse with two bunt singles, a walk, a passed ball on catcher Adrian Nieto and a throwing error by reliever Javy Guerra, one of two Sox errors on the night.

‘‘I don’t know that we did anything all that great tonight,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘You’re not going to go on a big run unless you stay consistent and play clean baseball. We didn’t pitch well, we didn’t field well, we didn’t hit well. You have to be better than that.’’

NOTES: First baseman Jose Abreu didn’t play because of discomfort in his back. Manager Robin Ventura said that shouldn’t keep him from starting in the series finale Wednesday.

‘‘You can see him stretching his back and doing some moves that you know it doesn’t quite feel right,’’ Ventura said of Abreu, who entered play Tuesday with a major-league-leading 29 homers.

† Pitching coach Don Cooper (vertigo) missed his third consecutive game. The Sox open a seven-game road trip Thursday in Minne-
sota, and Ventura didn’t rule out the possibility that Cooper might miss at least part of it.

† Ventura said reliever Matt Lindstrom might go on a rehab assignment in the first week of

† Catcher Tyler Flowers didn’t play after spending the previous night with his wife for the birth of their
second child, son Brantley Cole.


Twitter: @CST_soxvan

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