Youkilis' gritty style 'infectious' in new clubhouse

Youkilis' gritty style 'infectious' in new clubhouse

Youkilis' gritty style 'infectious' in new clubhouse
CHICAGO -- The change of scenery from Boston to Chicago has clearly benefited White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who is hitting .308 with 10 RBIs in 10 games with the White Sox after delivering a go-ahead homer leading off the sixth inning of Thursday's 2-1 victory over the Rangers.

But the trade hasn't changed Youkilis' approach at the plate or overall style of play, which seems to rub off on everyone around him.

"Just the intensity," said White Sox manage Robin Ventura of Youkilis. "He has an energy he brings -- the competitiveness he has. It's infectious, and it's a good thing for our guys to see in a guy who has been a winner.

"You have guys like Paul [Konerko] who have done it and lead by example, and he does the same thing. He doesn't stand around and tell everybody about it."

Adam Dunn leads the American League with 4.54 pitches per at-bat, and Alejandro De Aza ranks 25th at 3.97. Adding Youkilis between those two hitters further taxes an opposing hurler right from the start.

"Last night's at-bat, he did that," said Ventura of Youkilis' single to cap a nine-pitch, game-winning at-bat off reliever Mike Adams in the 10th inning of a 5-4 victory over Texas. "He just keeps fouling off pitches, and eventually a pitcher gives in. The more pitches you see, the more you foul off, they get a little closer."

"Like I've said, it's a lot of fun playing baseball again," Youkilis said. "It's a good feeling to have, and I'm just enjoying it. There are going to be some ruts, and hopefully there are small ruts and a lot of positives."