Adam Eaton short on stature but long on skill, effort
BY DAVID JUST For Sun-Times Media August 2, 2014 9:12PM
Sox leadoff man Adam Eaton has a nine-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in 19 consecutive games. | Getty Images
TWINS AT WHITE SOX
The facts: 1:10 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The pitchers: Kyle Gibson (9-8, 3.94 ERA) vs. Jose Quintana (6-7, 3.15).
Updated: September 4, 2014 6:55AM
At 5-8, White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton might be easy to overlook.
But while teammate Jose Abreu grabs headlines with impressive hitting feats, Eaton’s own success at the plate is too substantial to ignore.
The diminutive leadoff man doubled to lead off the first inning Saturday against the Minnesota Twins, extending his hitting streak to nine games and his streak of reaching base safely to 19 games.
Eaton added two more doubles, including one that drove in two runs to tie the score in the Sox’ four-run seventh, and a single. The big night lifted his batting average to higher than .300 for the first time since April.
Eaton made his presence felt more than once during the series opener Friday at U.S. Cellular Field. He drove in a run with a bunt single in the second, then scored from second on a single to left by Abreu in the fourth.
‘‘Once he gets on base, stuff just happens,’’ manager Robin Ventura said.
Eaton has missed 22 games this season with various injuries and is playing with a broken middle finger on his right hand.
The finger injury, though, hardly has slowed him down. Entering the game, Eaton had 32 hits in his last 18 games.
Outfielder Avisail Garcia, who has been on the disabled list since mid-April with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, stroked two singles in his debut on a rehab stint with Class AAA Charlotte on Friday.
Ventura said he was pleased but was reluctant to read too much into it.
‘‘It’s one game,’’ he said. ‘‘You want him to be able to go through a stretch where he sees enough pitches that you feel comfortable bringing him up here that he’s going to hold his own.’’
Garcia added another base hit during his first at-bat Saturday against the Gwinnett Braves.
Injury hits close to home
Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George’s gruesome leg injury was a difficult subject for Ventura to think about, let alone discuss.
George suffered a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula in his right leg during a Team USA scrimmage Friday in Las Vegas, and Ventura couldn’t bring himself to watch the viral video.
Ventura suffered a compound fracture of his right ankle toward the end of spring training in 1997 that sidelined him until late July of that season.
‘‘I’m not gonna watch it,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘I don’t need to watch any of that. You feel sorry for him. It’s a freak accident, but I don’t want to see it. I’ve had enough.’’