Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Beckham shakes off rough start at plate with 2 hits

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- It was only the first day, so don't read too much into Gordon Beckham's pair of strikeouts in his first two at-bats against the Dodgers on Monday.

Beckham didn't. He bounced back with two singles in two at-bats and a stolen base in the Angels' 6-2 win against the White Sox on Tuesday. His three good fielding plays and two whiffs the day before reflected his 2011 season in a nutshell: Gold Glove caliber defense for long stretches at second base and a tailspin at the plate.

"I felt really good in the field. Really good,'' he said the morning after Monday's Cactus League Opener.

"What do you really want to ask?'' he said, smiling, knowing a question about hitting was on the way.

With that, a teammate passed gas while walking past Beckham's locker.

"That can be my at-bats comment,'' Beckham said.

But seriously, folks.

"My swing feels so good in BP and the way my set up feels, it's just one of those days,'' Beckham said. "I was laughing about it because I was telling myself it can't get much worse than that. It's like all uphill from here. I started really hot last spring training and you saw how that worked out.

"I was just frustrated because you don't want to look like that on the first day. I can kind of laugh at it now. I really do feel good. It's not a concern. The way I feel in BP, I'm where I want to be. It's the first game.''

Beckham batted ninth Monday. He batted second Tuesday when the Sox and left-hander John Danks faced the Angels and Albert Pujols in Tempe. Danks had a rough first outing, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks in two innings.

Danks hasn't been named officially but he's lined up to be the Opening Day starter in Texas, his home state. Manager Robin Ventura stopped short of making it official after the game.

"I haven't been told that,'' he said after his outing. "I keep my fingers crossed, but two more like this and I don't think there will be any question."

The Sox batting order for Tuesday: Alejandro De Aza CF, Beckham 2B, Adam Dunn 1B, Dayan Viciedo LF, Kosuke Fukudome RF, Tyler Flowers C, Jim Gallagher DH, Brent Lillibridge 3B, Eduardo Escobar SS.

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on March 6, 2012 10:44 AM.

Fukudome's "speech" inspires Team Dunn to victory was the previous entry in this blog.

Ventura's Sox staff: 'What's not to like?' is the next entry in this blog.

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