Quentin has sixth sense for place in lineup

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Batting sixth is working for Carlos Quentin. And it’s working for White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.

“I’m comfortable right now,” Quentin said Tuesday before the Sox lost to the Royals 7-6 in 12 innings on Tuesday night. “I’ve been able to get some hits and production in that spot. I’ve always been adamant about wherever they hit me is good. I just want at-bats. The whole staff knows where they hit me doesn’t bother me. Just being in the lineup is all I want.”

Quentin, who was named the American League Player of the Week on Monday after going 6-for-11 (.545) with three doubles, one home run and seven RBI during the opening series at Cleveland over the weekend, was 1-for-5 in the sixth spot on Tuesday. He was in the on-deck circle in the 12th when Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar made a sensational play on Alex Rios’ grounder in the hole to end the inning. That came right after Royals reliever Jeremey Jeffress caught pinch-runner Brent Lillibridge leaning from second with a leg-raise pickoff move.

Rios went into the game hitless but had two singles and was robbed of a third by Escobar.

“I don’t see why we should change the lineup,” manager Ozzie Guillen said Tuesday. “Rios has hit the ball well [in the fifth spot] without any luck. I like how the lineup is right now.

“No matter what, I think Lilly got a little too aggressive, and that’s the end of the game like that.”

Quentin said he hits best when he tries to hit the ball to right-center.

“It helps me stay on pitches,” he said.

“The one thing about Carlos right now, I don’t think he always tries to pull the ball,” Guillen said. “He tries to hit the ball to the opposite field. All his big hits were to right center. That’s when you see the ball the best. He’s got the potential to pull a lot that way and help us to win two games. Hopefully he continues to do that.”

Quentin said he has tried to stay on an even keel since spring training.

“When you guys asked me what I was looking for, it was a chance to build on things and develop good habits on and off the field and set a routine I feel comfortable with day in and day out. That’s what I’m going to do: Come in here, do my work, play the game, and either way it turns out hope for the victory. Go home at night and know everything I did was set and done. Turn in my card, punch it, come back the next day. I look at it like that.”

The Sox (2-2) come back for work today as they finish their two-game set in Kansas City Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. The Sox’ home opener is Thursday afternoon against Tampa Bay.

The Royals (4-1) are off to a hot start. They took three of four from the Angels to open their season.

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