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Break gets Beckham back on track
By Scot Gregor | Daily Herald Staff

Gordon Beckham says time spent talking with the White Sox' coaches during a recent three-game benching helped straighten out his swing.

 

Associated Press

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Published: 7/17/2010 9:17 PM

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MINNEAPOLIS - Gordon Beckham wasn't happy about being benched for three straight games before the all-star break.

In retrospect, the White Sox' second baseman is seeing the benefits of taking an extended seat.

"I think it's coincidence, but after I was done sitting I got a feel for my swing that I haven't had all year," Beckham said. "So that was what helped. It wasn't necessarily sitting on the bench that helped. But definitely working in the cage, I got a feel with (hitting coach) Greg (Walker) and Gelly (assistant Mike Gellinger), and from them I've been able to repeat a swing - and a good swing."

The Sox' biggest disappointment in the first half of the season, Beckham has been making up for lost time after getting back on the field.

His single in the eighth inning of Saturday night's 3-2 loss to the Twins extended Beckham's hitting streak to six games, and he is 10-for-20 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI over the stretch.

"I like they way he's been swinging the bat," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I think our lineup, especially with the way Gordon is swinging the bat the way he is now, I think our lineup is better and I think we have a chance to score a few runs."

Beckham's recent hot streak has raised his batting average from .206 to .226. He's not going to win the American League batting title this year, but the 23-year-old infielder seems to have survived his first-ever extended stretch of failure.

"You just have to have a lot of willpower," Beckham said. "It's hard for me to look back and think, 'Gosh I did that?' But maybe that was the problem. You look back and see how long it's been since you've done well for an extended period of time. That bothered me. I've got to let that go.

"It's in the past, and I have let that go. The last couple of weeks it's been better. I've just got to go on that. I think anybody that's struggling has had that feeling. I've never thought, 'Why is this happening to me?' Maybe if I took things for granted last season or I took things for granted this off-season, maybe I could say I've got to do that better. But I didn't."