Team Report - CHICAGO WHITE SOX

The SportsXchange

INSIDE PITCH

CHICAGO -- Rookie infielder Marcus Semien is doing what he can to make a strong impression on White Sox management.

Semien has become the main fill-in for injured second baseman Gordon Beckham (oblique strain) and is hitting second in a lineup that's leading the American League in most offensive categories through the season's first two weeks.

He doesn't know where he'll be playing once Beckham returns from the 15-day disabled list, but he definitely wants to give the White Sox something to think about.

"I'm just going to continue to show up here every day and whatever they do, they do," he said, prior to going 1-for-7 in Chicago's 6-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox in 14 innings Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. "As of now, I'm here with the White Sox. I don't know after that."

Semien played roles in some late-inning dramatics in the previous two games, which both ended in the bottom of the ninth with Chicago shortstop Alexei Ramirez scoring the winning run. He drilled his second eighth-inning go-ahead homer of the season Sunday in a 3-2 victory against the Cleveland Indians and then hit a ground ball Tuesday against Boston that led to a 2-1 win on a throwing error by Red Sox rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

According to Elias, Semien's two eighth-inning homers to put Chicago into the lead in the first 13 games of a season were last matched in White Sox history by Dick Allen in 1972.

"It's great to be a part of the Opening Day roster," said Semien, who has two home runs, five RBIs and two stolen bases. "Last year I was a September call-up, where it was a 40-man roster, so now being on the 25-man roster it's a great feeling. It's where I want to be and I want to take advantage of every opportunity given to me."

Despite the small sample size, manager Robin Ventura is impressed.

"He's doing fine," Ventura said. "He's a confident kid. He's played a lot of different positions, so second base isn't one that he's uncomfortable with. He's just getting a good opportunity right now because of Gordon's injury and he's taking advantage of it."

NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 8-7

STREAK: Lost one

NEXT: Red Sox (LHP Jon Lester, 1-2, 2.57 ERA) at White Sox (LHP Chris Sale, 3-0, 2.66)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP Nate Jones is not yet throwing in his recovery from a strained left hip muscle that landed him on the 15-day disable list April 4. The reliever, who started the season as the closer, is doing rehab work with head trainer Herm Schneider. "He continues to get treatment and things like that, but we haven't put a timetable on anything," manager Robin Ventura said. "Until he's out throwing and doing something, he continues to be in there with Herm for treatment."

--RHP Erik Johnson gave himself a needed confidence booster with a strong start that lasted 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox. Johnson, a rookie who carried a 9.58 ERA in two starts into the game, struck out a career-high nine and worked efficiently on a cold night at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox won 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth and Johnson got a lot of credit for keeping it 1-1 before departing. "I was glad I could go that deep for my team," said Johnson, whose first starts reached just the fifth and sixth innings. "It's a good one to have in your back pocket and build off for the next one."

--2B Marcus Semien is trying to make a strong impression while filling in at second base for injured 2B Gordon Beckham (strained left oblique). Semien likely will get assigned to the minors once Beckham returns from an injury rehab stint at Double-A Birmingham, but only because the White Sox want him to get everyday at-bats. Until that point, Semien is holding down the second slot in a lineup that's leading the American League in most offensive categories. Ventura likes what he's seen from Semien, in the field and at the plate. "Right now, I see him as (No.2 hitter)," Ventura said. "In the future he might move around, but right now he's doing well the way he's going about his spot in the two-hole. It's possible he could be at other spots in the lineup, but we'll see how that goes."

--1B/DH Adam Dunn is off to a strong start for the White Sox, who have baseball's best offense through the season's first two weeks. Coming into a 6-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox in 14 innings Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field, Dunn was hitting .294 with three home runs and eight RBI. He went 0-for-4 but drew two walks to raise his season total to 13 in 15 games. "He worked hard in spring training and I think the shift thing ... it messes with some guys, but right now he's seeing it good, he's pulling balls, hitting it the other way, taking walks," manager Robin Ventura said. "All that's good to see."

--RHP Matt Lindstrom blew a save for the third time in four opportunities during a 6-4 loss in 14 innings against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday in Chicago, but Ventura said he will continue to get opportunities to close games. Ventura said he still has confidence in the veteran right-hander. He also doesn't have many other options.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's doing fine. He's a confident kid. He's played a lot of different positions, so second base isn't one that he's uncomfortable with. He's just getting a good opportunity right now because of Gordon's injury and he's taking advantage of it." -- manager Robin Ventura, on 2B Marcus Semien filling in for injured 2B Gordon Beckham.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--OF Avisail Garcia (torn labrum in his left shoulder) was put on the 15-day disabled list April 10. He is out for the season due to the injury suffered April 9 while diving for a ball in Colorado. He underwent surgery April 15. He is out for the season and will undergo six months of rehabilitation. He is expected to be available to start spring training in 2015.

--2B Gordon Beckham (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He began an injury rehab assignment with Double-A Birmingham on April 3, but he sustained a setback that day. He re-started his injury rehab assignment with the Double-A Birmingham on April 15. Manager Robin Ventura said April 15 that he might need up to week more to feel fully recovered.

--RHP Ronald Belisario (lower right back tightness) left the April 9 game early. He did not play April 10-11 but returned April 12.

--RHP Nate Jones (left hip muscle strain) went on the 15-day disabled list April 4. General manager Rick Hahn said April 10 that an MRI revealed Jones actually has a back issue, and he received an epidural. Jones is doing rehab work with team trainer Herm Schneider.

--INF Jeff Keppinger (right shoulder surgery in September 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He appeared in six spring games, none after March 10, when he was shut down. He resumed playing in extended spring training games in early April.

ROTATION:

LHP Chris Sale

RHP Felipe Paulino

LHP Jose Quintana

RHP Erik Johnson

LHP John Danks

BULLPEN:

RHP Matt Lindstrom

RHP Daniel Webb

LHP Donnie Veal

RHP Maikel Cleto

RHP Ronald Belisario

LHP Scott Downs

RHP Jake Petricka

CATCHERS:

Tyler Flowers

Adrian Nieto

INFIELDERS:

1B Jose Abreu

2B Marcus Semien

SS Alexei Ramirez

3B Conor Gillaspie

1B/DH Paul Konerko

INF Leury Garcia

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Alejandro De Aza

CF Adam Eaton

RF Dayan Viciedo

OF Jordan Danks

DH Adam Dunn

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