SEATTLE — Timing is everything, and for the White Sox, losing Adam Eaton couldn’t have come at a worse time.
The Sox have scored seven runs over their last five games, and while Jose Abreu is the driving force, it’s Eaton’s energetic style and, more importantly, production in the leadoff spot that makes the Sox’ lineup go — when it goes.
But Eaton won’t be around to do that for at least another two weeks, possibly longer, after the Sox put him on the disabled list with a strained right oblique. Eaton described his frustration level with this injury, the second one to put him on the disabled list, as “huge.’’
“I’m not doing anybody any good, and I’ve said that many times before,’’ he said. “I want to be out with these guys. I want to try and produce as well as I can and stay healthy doing that. Running into the wall is not healthy.’’
Left-handed hitting outfielder Jordan Danks was recalled from Class AAA Charlotte. Danks didn’t start against Mariners lefty James Paxton on Saturday, but he entered as a pinch hitter in the 10th inning and scored the go-ahead run on Conor Gillaspie’s single in a 2-1 victory that snapped a four-game losing streak. Danks reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and went to third on shortstop Chris Taylor’s two-out error.
Sox starter Hector Noesi gave up one unearned run in 7 1/3 innings, posting a second strong effort in a week against a team that had dumped him this season.
“Sometimes when you don’t believe in somebody, sometimes [someone] needs to show me that I can do it, that I can believe in something,’’ said Noesi, wearing a cap with “revenge” written above the bill.
Danks provided a nice jolt of Eaton-like energy, but it will be hard to top Eaton’s .304 average, 19 doubles, seven triples and 32 RBI. Eaton ranks among the American League leaders in triples (tied for second), on-base percentage (eighth at .370) and average.
Eaton crashed into the fence in right-center at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday trying to chase down a home run. Two days later in Seattle, he came out of the game in the first inning and has missed all or parts of 26 games with an assortment of injuries. He was on the DL in May with a strained hamstring and has dealt with other leg, ankle and wrist injuries. He was playing with a broken bone in the middle finger of his right hand when this latest injury got him.
At some point, the 25-year-old will have to learn to take better care of his body. The Sox put a stop to Eaton’s diving head first into first base early in the season, and he has picked his spots going down the line at full, all-out speed on ground balls to help conserve his legs.
“Some of it is misfortune,’’ Ventura said. “Running into the fence, we can hopefully learn from that. If the ball is going out, be a little more aware of the fence. Part of it is that’s how he plays. Playing hard is not something you really want to take away from him.’’
“I hope the White Sox don’t think this is going to be a trend,’’ Eaton said. “It’s definitely not going to be a trend. I’m going to get back, be healthy and stay healthy hopefully for a long career [here].
“I learn something every day. My wife and I had a discussion about it this morning. She says, ‘This kind of sucks, but it’s all about learning.’ ’’