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Keppinger to remain starter despite slow start

Keppinger to remain starter despite slow start

CHICAGO -- There is no dilemma for White Sox manager Robin Ventura in regard to filling third base in his starting lineup.

Yes, Jeff Keppinger has one single in 21 at-bats to start this season and is mired in a 0-for-19 funk. And yes, Conor Gillaspie made an immediate impact with two hits, two runs scored and strong defensive play during Saturday's 4-3 victory over the Mariners.

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All of those facts basically add up to Gillaspie potentially getting a start at third base on Sunday against right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, but Keppinger and his .288 career average are certainly staying as the starter at the position.

"We don't have any dilemmas," Ventura said. "Probably tomorrow, get [Gillaspie] in there and give him a couple at-bats here and there. I think with Kep, it's just a small sample. You know his track record and it'll change."

Gillaspie picked up his first career triple, and first hit with the White Sox, but wasn't pushing for any extra at-bats based on his strong effort against one of the game's best in Felix Hernandez.

"My job is to come in when I'm asked," Gillaspie said. "If guys need a breather or whatever, come in and do the best job I can and contribute. Whether it's getting hits, making plays or hitting a 20-hopper to second to score a run, that's my role on this team. I've got to keep working hard and keep trying to do it."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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