Beckham fills leadoff spot in De Aza's absence

Beckham fills leadoff spot in De Aza's absence

Beckham fills leadoff spot in De Aza's absence

HOUSTON -- The three career games and 11 at-bats for Gordon Beckham as the White Sox leadoff hitter increased in Friday's series opener against the Astros.

Alejandro De Aza was scratched from the starting lineup because of a stomach ailment after he came in feeling a little bit of pain, according to White Sox manager Robin Ventura, and was sent by head athletic trainer Herm Schneider to a local hospital to be examined.

"There's nothing major they said going on," said Ventura. "I don't know what it is. I just know he wouldn't be able to start tonight."

Beckham entered Friday 10-for-32 with five runs scored over nine games since his return from the disabled list. The White Sox second baseman won't change his approach moving from the last spot of the order to the top spot.

"Just try to put the barrel on the ball and hope that it finds a spot where somebody is not playing," Beckham said. "That's kind of what I've been trying to do. It's going to be even more so that way in the leadoff spot.

"When you hit leadoff, there's nowhere to hide. You gotta be ready to go at the start of the game. You have to have that mentality that whole game. You are going to get up there four times if not five times. You have to be ready to have good at-bats."

Although he missed time from April 10 to June 2 after fracturing the hamate bone in his left hand, Beckham has maintained the good feeling at the plate present in Spring Training and early April. There's some still soreness in the hand as part of Beckham's return.

"It's kind of like Spring Training for me, except I'm not getting a day off in between every start and I'm playing nine innings and 16 innings sometimes," Beckham said. "There's definitely been some residual soreness from that stuff. But my body feels fine."

Beckham went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in Friday's 2-1 loss.

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.