CHICAGO -- The last start made by Brent Lillibridge came at third base on May 20 at Wrigley Field during the White Sox's 6-0 victory over the Cubs. He has just three at-bats since then, leading into Sunday afternoon's leadoff spot and center field nod against the Mariners in the series finale.
It's a slightly different assignment than Lillibridge had in 2011, when he broke loose offensively with 13 homers and 29 RBIs. But with the White Sox winning and in first place, the team-oriented Lillibridge has no complaints.
"When you are rolling, you don't want to change anything," said Lillibridge, referring to the White Sox's nine-game win streak that ended on Saturday. "I totally understand. Would I want more at-bats? Absolutely.
"But whenever I get my opportunity, I'm going to do what I do and that's try to play well and play without any fear. Don't question or second-guess [when he's hitting], because you don't know when you are playing again. Just look for a pitch to hit and try to drive it somewhere. Try to get an RBI and steal some bases, play some good defense."
Tyler Flowers, Kosuke Fukudome and Eduardo Escobar joined Lillibridge in Sunday's 4-2 victory, combining for five hits with three runs scored, with manager Robin Ventura getting at-bats for some of his reserves and also dealing with a flu bug making its way through the clubhouse. Lillibridge pointed out that he has been getting into games, either as a pinch-runner or as he quipped, giving Paul Konerko "a day off" by playing the last couple of innings for him at first base.
Lillibridge's primary goal is helping the White Sox win, understanding that one great game probably won't change his role in the short term with the lineup going strong as a whole.
"Winning makes it so much easier to come to the ballpark," Lillibridge said. "My role is I've been in there. I'm an important part of it. It's just helping the team out.
"Last year, [Adam] Dunn struggled and I got to jump in and get more at-bats. It's a long season, and lots of things are going to happen. At this point right here, it can't turn into bitterness. I'm getting paid as a utility guy and doing my job. That's all you can really do and not try to over-analyze one or two at-bats I get. Just be comfortable and be aggressive and try to help the team win."
Danks ready to face live batters
CHICAGO -- John Danks is ready to face hitters.
The left-handed starter has been on the disabled list since May 25 (retroactive to May 20) with a left shoulder strain, but was pleased with a pregame bullpen session thrown on Sunday. He was pleased enough that Danks believes getting in a game is the next step, probably as part of a Minor League rehab assignment.
"I think that's the direction they're leaning," said Danks of making a Minor League start or two before returning to the White Sox. "I haven't been told anything official yet, but if I was a betting man, I'd imagine I'd get out somewhere next week and throw.
"Whether it be in a rehab start or get out on the mound, I don't know, but I'm ready to get out there and face some hitters. That's kind of the only time I can really gauge how I feel. Get some adrenaline going and have a hitter in there. I can start thinking about getting him out rather than how I'm feeling every second."
Danks threw everything on Sunday as he went "full bore" during the side session. He even sat down for five or six minutes to try to simulate a break between innings.
Although he has thrown off the mound just twice, Danks has played catch every day and admitted to being pretty sore on Saturday. But that soreness was expected, according to Danks, and the good news was that he felt strong enough to throw Sunday.
Next on the agenda is rebuilding his stamina to get back into the rotation.
"If I go on a rehab start next week, I doubt they'd throw me out there for 100 pitches," said Danks, who figures to be replaced in the rotation once again by Jose Quintana on Wednesday, although nothing is confirmed. "It would probably be a couple of outings before I came back here. I haven't been told anything official yet, but that's kind of the way I'd think it would go.
"Today we threw everything and tried to put some stuff behind it. Not just lobbing it in there. I'm making progress."
Attitude adjustment has Beckham rolling
CHICAGO -- Gordon Beckham extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a run-scoring single in Sunday's 4-2 victory over the Mariners, coming off a three-hit, four-RBI performance in Saturday's loss. But in Beckham's opinion, it's an attitude return as much as a swing improvement leading to this recent run of success at the plate.
"I feel like I'm back to being the guy I was and the guy I've been," Beckham said. "The guy I just kind of pushed under the rug for a long time. I just feel like I'm prepared to hit and ready to hit and that's allowing me to get in a good position and allowing me to do the things I'm capable of doing.
"That's all you can ask for. You don't know where the ball is going to go, but if you are squaring it up, you should get some hits."
Reed stronger in save situations
CHICAGO -- Addison Reed has made 22 appearances this season and has been scored upon in just three of those. All three of those happened to be non-save situations, including Saturday's 12th-inning loss, which was the first decision of his big league career.
But the White Sox's closer doesn't buy into the theory that he must adjust his focus during outings when a save is not possible.
"I don't feel any different when I come in with a lead, without a lead, save situation, non-save situation," Reed said. "I have the same mentality and everything, but I don't know if it's coincidence or what.
"There have been a few times I've been out in non-save situations, and things haven't gone the right way. But I don't go out any differently."
Reed has allowed 10 runs over 2 2/3 innings during the three games where the opposition has scored. He has given up 12 hits over the remaining 16 innings, fanning 17.
"Everything feels good," Reed said. "There are a couple of pitches I would like to take back, but it happens."
Third to first
• Members of Northwestern's seven-time NCAA championship women's lacrosse team threw out one of the first pitches on Sunday. Troy Garity, one of the actors from the Starz series "Boss," set in Chicago, also did the honors.
• In his Detroit retirement ceremony Sunday afternoon, Magglio Ordonez gave praise to the White Sox.
"They signed me when I was 17 years old and they always treated me good and always give me the chance to play," said Ordonez, who hit .307 and had 187 homers over eight years with the White Sox. "If it wasn't for the White Sox, I wouldn't be here in the big leagues. The fans, they always support me. The organization, too. They were great to me. Unfortunately, I had to move on."