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Beckham a good fit near top of White Sox lineup

CHICAGO -- Gordon Beckham returned to his more familiar second spot in the White Sox lineup Sunday, where he has been featured in 158 career games, after leading off for the fifth time on Saturday.

Manager Robin Ventura admitted to being able to mess with the lineup a little bit more now, looking for the right fit for the future. He also believes Beckham possesses the necessary characteristics to consistently handle hitting second.

"He had those earlier, when he started the year and when he came back from Spring Training, of how he was swinging the bat. It's not a surprise," said Ventura of Beckham, who has 19 homers and 76 RBIs lifetime out of the No. 2 slot. "He can bat pretty much anywhere in the lineup. The other day, he was fifth. The way he's been swinging, he can pretty much go anywhere.

"Being able to adapt and go with how they're pitching him and still be able to play and swing and stay with it, that's been the impressive part with watching Gordon from last year into this year. You don't want anyone to go through an extended period where they don't swing the bat or do anything when they get hurt. But for him to come back and pick up where he left off is a good sign."

Beckham's .305 average would be tied for eighth in the American League this season with the necessary at-bats, which he doesn't have because of a fractured hamate bone in his left hand sustained in the season's second week. He walked a career-high four times Saturday, joking afterward that there have been some weeks where he hasn't walked four times.

Those free passes simply were an offshoot of Beckham's consistent plate approach.

"I'm trying to have good at-bats, make sure I don't go up there and do something stupid," Beckham said. "You just hit the ball hard when you get a place to do it. Obviously, you can't control where it goes once you hit it, but I'm just trying to hit the ball hard and stay within myself."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
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