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updated: 7/8/2014 11:13 PM

For White Sox' Eaton, it's all-out effort

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  • Adam Eaton, left, celebrates with Alexei Ramirez after the White Sox' victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday night.

      Adam Eaton, left, celebrates with Alexei Ramirez after the White Sox' victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday night.
    Associated Press

 
 

As expected, Adam Eaton has fit right in with the White Sox.

He mirrors the complete profile of popular players on the South Side. Eaton, a 25-year-old center fielder, doesn't always hit, but he doesn't give away too many at-bats, either.

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He runs the bases hard -- maybe too hard for his own good. Conversely, that's better than dogging it down the line.

Eaton has really made his mark playing defense.

Picture a smaller, swifter Aaron Rowand, and "Spanky" Eaton is that guy.

Whether he is running into the fence to make a catch, hustling in to snare a sinking liner or using his blazing speed to run down flyballs headed for the gaps, Eaton undoubtedly is the White Sox' best center fielder since Rowand was on the roster from 2001-05.

He's able to make so many catches because he pays close attention to what is happening at the plate.

"There's no instinct; it's just effort," Eaton said. "Seeing where the ball is pitched and how (the hitter's) hands move are going to give you a good indication on where the ball is going to go. I was blessed with being able to run; maybe that's what it is, maybe less instinct and being able to run and get there.

"Having good effort, a good pre-pitch routine, making sure of the situation, where he's going to pitch, even as he sets up, seeing where the catcher sets up, that type of thing. I can see the signs from where I'm at. There's a lot of things that go into it."

Much like Rowand, Eaton always seems to be on the verge of a serious injury. He slammed into the fence during Saturday's game against Seattle at U.S. Cellular Field, not for the first time this season.

In Tuesday night's 8-3 victory over the reeling Red Sox at Fenway Park, Eaton collided with left fielder Alejandro De Aza and also hit the ground hard trying to make a diving catch on a Brock Holt drive that skipped past him for a triple.

Eaton doesn't make every catch, but the effort is never lacking.

"He's played great defense," manager Robin Ventura said. "I like having him out there. He can go get it."

Eaton was 1-for-4 with a walk Tuesday as the White Sox won for the eighth time in 11 games. Conor Gillaspie was 3-for-4 with a 2-run homer, and De Aza was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI.

John Danks (8-6) labored through 5⅔ innings but got the win after allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks.

• Chris Sale leads the American League's Final Vote for the All-Star Game. The White Sox' ace left-hander is ahead of Garrett Richards, Rick Porcello, Corey Kluber and Dallas Keuchel.

Sale is 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA, which should have been good enough for inclusion when the all-star teams were announced Sunday. Sale starts against the Red Sox on Wednesday night.

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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