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Alexei committed to defensive excellence

Alexei committed to defensive excellence

Alexei committed to defensive excellence

CHICAGO -- Coming off what Alexei Ramirez termed a disappointing 2012 season, the White Sox shortstop worked even harder to get back to top form for 2013. That work hasn't exactly paid dividends, with Ramirez having committed 12 errors and hitting just one homer with 14 RBIs, but those numbers haven't stopped Ramirez's quest for excellence.

"My mind is still the same, I still have high expectations," said Ramirez through translator and White Sox coach Lino Diaz. "I've got today and that's what I have to concentrate on.

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"I have done everything I have always done to catch the ball, anticipate and obviously I hurt more than anybody else when these things happen. The support that my family and friends have given me has been key through these difficult times."

One of those difficult times came up Sunday in Kansas City, when his two-out, eighth-inning fielding error on Alcides Escobar's grounder allowed the winning run to score and prevented a White Sox chance to complete a road sweep. Ramirez wanted to collect his thoughts after Sunday's setback and didn't talk to the media, apologizing Tuesday for something he usually does in good times and bad.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura clearly stated Tuesday that the errors won't change the starting role for Ramirez, who joins Starlin Castro and Manny Machado as the only players who have played every inning this season.

"There comes a time where maybe [he has to] come and get it instead of sitting back," Ventura said of Ramirez's fielding style. "Those are minor things. But he's talented enough to be better at it. Guys are going to make errors every once in a while. He's done a good job of putting things behind him and just being refocusing. He's our shortstop. That's for sure."

"It is difficult for anybody who does it, but especially for me because I care about the team and I take things very seriously," Ramirez said. "There's nothing I can do about it now. Just learn from that and concentrate on what comes next and that's what I'm going to do."

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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