Alexei looking to hit to all fields, not for power

Alexei looking to hit to all fields, not for power

KANSAS CITY -- Although he went into Friday's game against the Royals with just one homer through 70 games, White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez isn't concerned about the power numbers.

Ramirez, who hit 15 or more homers in four of the previous five seasons, is concentrating on being an efficient contributor in the No. 2 slot, which means handling the bat and hitting the ball to all fields.

"I'm trying to hit according to my position in the lineup," Ramirez said through a translator.

Ramirez started the night with a .277 batting average, and his 76 hits and 15 doubles tied with Alex Rios for the team lead in those categories. But Ramirez had 11 errors, including a costly one in Thursday's loss at Minnesota.

"The only one who doesn't make mistakes is the one who doesn't play baseball," Ramirez said. "You just have to keep plugging away and trust yourself."

The struggles of the White Sox in recent days has weighed on Ramirez.

"It has definitely been difficult," Ramirez said. "There have been a couple of nights where it's hard to sleep."

If the White Sox are going to turn it around, they will need solid production from Ramirez both offensively and defensively. Manager Robin Ventura has been happy to see Ramirez hit the ball the other way in the No. 2 slot.

"I think that last year he got a little pull-happy," Ventura said. "At times, anybody can. But I think he is more consistent as a hitter when he's going [up the] middle or the other way and pulling it on occasion."

If that means fewer homers for Ramirez, so be it.

"Batting second is probably some of it," Ventura said. "He has power, but he's trying to use that [right-side] hole a little bit more when guys are on first base. The weather at the start of our season probably didn't help. But as it warms up, I think he'll probably be hitting some home runs."

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.