Fields had the day off Sunday and said the rest did him some good. The White Sox third baseman got some work done on the hand and felt the difference on Monday.
"It feels pretty good," Fields said.
The proof was in Fields' on-field performance against the Indians on Monday. He singled in the third, singled to drive in a run during Chicago's two-run seventh and then drew a walk in the ninth. He has reached base in 23 of his 28 games played.
After missing one game in Kansas City last Monday, Fields returned to knock out two hits the following night. But from that point until Monday, Fields had one hit in 11 at-bats. It wasn't that he felt as if he were struggling at the plate, but he was having trouble handling one particular pitch -- partially because of his hand.
"The pitch inside," said Fields of his trouble spot. "When you are getting beat on the same exact pitches over and over again, it becomes almost about the mental part. We're at the level where you get beat a lot, but not consistently on the same thing.
"It's going to happen and come around. That's why we are here, to play through stuff like that."
This trouble spot only has frustrated Fields in one at-bat during the past week, when he grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and one out in the second inning of Saturday's victory. Fields understands that as the soreness dissipates in his hand, the swing will get stronger in all areas of the zone.
Proof was in his effort Monday night, and he hopes that same proof shines through on Tuesday night against Cleveland's Jeremy Sowers.
"I'm excited to feel good again and not get beat in the same area," Fields said. "It's only been a couple of days since I got hit in the hand, so I'm not really frustrated over how I'm hitting."
CWS: LHP Clayton Richard (0-0, 4.32 ERA)
Richard served as a starter for most of Cactus League action, just in case Jose Contreras or Bartolo Colon weren't ready for the start of the regular season, so it shouldn't be too difficult for the southpaw to stretch out for four or five innings on Tuesday. Richard made his 12th appearance in relief on Sunday during a loss to Texas, but it basically functioned as a side day with Richard pitching one-third of an inning and facing two batters. Richard had a 2-5 record with a 6.35 ERA in eight starts last year and is replacing Contreras, who has an 0-5 mark with an 8.19 ERA over six starts in 2009. Richard has made one start against the Indians and has an 0-1 record lifetime against them.
CLE: LHP Jeremy Sowers (0-1, 12.60 ERA)
Sowers, called up to take over Aaron Laffey's rotation spot when Laffey was moved to the bullpen, gave the Indians five strong innings in his season debut Thursday in Boston before running into inescapable trouble in the sixth, when the Red Sox hitters became a little more patient. When all was said and done, he was charged with seven runs on seven hits with three walks and a strikeout in five-plus innings of work. Sowers was 0-2 with a 7.56 ERA in two starts against the White Sox last year.
With the addition of Jimmy Gobble to the bullpen on Monday, the White Sox now have signed and used seven ex-Royals relievers since 2007. That group consists of Gobble, Octavio Dotel and D.J. Carrasco, who are still with the team, Mike MacDougal, Andrew Sisco, Ryan Bukvich and Horacio Ramirez. ... Gobble made his White Sox debut on Monday, giving up one run on two hits over one-third of an inning in relief of Gavin Floyd. Gobble truly is glad to be teammates with Paul Konerko, who is 5-for-6 in his career against the southpaw, with four home runs and five RBIs. "As long as they don't ask me to throw BP to him," said Gobble with a laugh. "That was a running joke over in Kansas City. But I faced these guys a lot and have gotten to know a few of them, and I'm excited to be here. This is a great clubhouse and a good fit for me." ... Scott and Lisa Podsednik welcomed their first child on Sunday, a girl, named Peytra. ... Over his last nine games, A.J. Pierzynski has gone 15-for-34 with eight RBIs.
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Official game notes
Wednesday: White Sox (Mark Buehrle, 5-0, 2.61) at Indians (Cliff Lee, 1-5, 3.45), 11:05 a.m. CT
Friday: White Sox (John Danks, 2-2, 3.41) at Blue Jays (Brett Cecil, 1-0, 0.64), 6:07 p.m. CT