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Beckham doesn't tailor approach to lineup spot

Beckham doesn't tailor approach to lineup spot

Beckham doesn't tailor approach to lineup spot
ANAHEIM -- White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham has heard all the talk about how No. 2 hitters see more fastballs and get better pitches to hit.

He isn't buying it.

Beckham started his 10th straight game in the two-hole during a 6-1 win over the Angels on Thursday, hitting ahead of Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko. After notching two hits Wednesday night, Beckham hopes he's finding a groove. If he does, it won't be because the pitching is any different, he says.

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"That's way over-exaggerated," Beckham said. "Obviously, I've got Adam hitting behind me, and you would think you'd get more fastballs. I get a fair amount, but I've gotten some offspeed pitches in hitter's counts. I wouldn't read too much into that."

Beckham pointed out that he's actually walked more times in the No. 2 hole (six) than he did in 26 games batting in other spots in the order (four). It's counterintuitive, given that No. 2 hitters precede the club's big RBI men, and opposing pitchers should be doing everything possible to avoid letting them reach base.

Beckham is batting just .197 with two homers, but manager Robin Ventura still sees him as an ideal No. 2 hitter, given his abilities.

"He can hit-and-run, he can bunt, he can run," Ventura said. "We have a couple guys that can do that. It doesn't look as good if he's not swinging great, but I think he's going to. For me, that's where I want him."

In April, Beckham batted ninth in every game he started except one, before making the switch to the No. 2 spot on May 7 against Cleveland.

Beckham then recorded four hits in his first four games before going hitless in the next four. He hopes Wednesday's game -- when he hit a rocket RBI double to left that gave the Sox a short-lived third-inning lead -- is a precursor to more success in the two-hole.

"They're very similar spots," Gordon said of the second and ninth places in the order. "The only difference is one person's hitting in the first inning and the other one's not, usually."

He noted that the goal in both cases is to reach base -- whether to turn the lineup over when hitting in the nine-spot or to put pressure in the on a pitcher before the meat of the lineup when hitting in the two-spot.

The only real difference, Beckham said, comes on the road, when he steps into the batter's box before getting into the flow of the game by playing defense.

"I've hit there before, and I understand what comes with it," Beckham said. "You've got to be ready right off the bat, especially on the road."

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