Manto: Home runs a product of good approach

Manto: Home runs a product of good approach

CHICAGO -- Over the last four games, White Sox hitting coach Jeff Manto has looked like an offensive genius.

That kind of tag comes about when your offense produces 46 runs, as the South Siders have done in that span. The White Sox also have pounded out 11 home runs in the four games, marking a sign of the weather heating up in Chicago and the ball really traveling in hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field.

But Manto, much like his predecessor Greg Walker, wants the White Sox to be good hitters with home run power instead of looking to be home run hitters.

"We definitely monitor that," said Manto of a focus on the long ball. "Yesterday's plan was not to hit any because Derek Lowe has such a good sinker. Just try to drive the ball. They are experienced enough to know when they can and can't. It worked out yesterday. Once we got Lowe out, we were able to get some pitches elevated.

"It's all part of the same approach. We aren't going to change our approach at Fenway or Baltimore. We are not going to try to punch balls to right field in New York. Once we get out of our comfort area, that's when we start swinging at bad pitches and just grinding ourselves right back into the ground again.

"The thing I'll have to watch and monitor is making sure these guys are doing the same thing day in and day out," Manto said. "It's a matter of being patient and just waiting for the opportune time."

In the month of May, the White Sox are hitting .272 with 37 homers and 143 runs scored, not to mention a much improved .295 average with runners in scoring position. Over the last 13 games since May 14, the White Sox are hitting .310 with 27 homers and 93 runs scored and have 11 games of 10 hits or more. They also have homered in 13 straight games, producing 27 total. They hit .226 with 13 homers and 60 runs scored in their previous 17 games from April 26-May 13.

As for the temporary genius status, Manto laughs and puts the credit upon his charges.

"I don't get too high or too low," Manto said. "I'm happier for the players than anything else. When you start coaching, you start caring about these players and I'm happy for them."