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Sox show marked defensive improvement

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Blake Tekotte made an impressive display of the White Sox marked defensive improvements on Monday when he stole a home run from one of the Brewers' top power hitters.

The backup outfielder leapt over the center-field wall to rob Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez of a homer in Chicago's 9-0 win at Maryvale Baseball Park, shining a spotlight on a point of emphasis for the Sox this spring.

"It's been a little while since I had a catch like that," Tekotte said, adding that it was one of the best of his career and showing off scrapes from outfield practice drills this week. "We actually worked on fence drills the other day, too, as you can see. I actually told [first-base coach Daryl Boston], 'Practice makes perfect.' He actually moved me over just a little bit prior to that pitch, so I give a little bit of credit to him."

The White Sox were one of the worst defensive teams in the Majors last year, amassing 121 errors, second-worst in baseball. According to, Chicago was No. 23 in baseball with an Ultimate Zone Rating of -25.4 (which measures how many runs a team/player saved or gave up through defensive play).

But this spring, they've shown considerable improvement in Cactus League games and their 14 team errors entering Tuesday was seventh-best in baseball.

"It's hard sometimes when everybody's not playing at the same time, but you're liking what you're seeing as far as guys being in position and doing the right thing," manager Robin Ventura said. "When you start playing during the year, that's when you're really going to know, because everybody's playing together."

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.
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