Jeff Keppinger May Hold Key to Chicago White Sox’ Offensive Success

Jeff Keppinger Chicago White Sox

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

With all the quality pitching the Chicago White Sox have gotten so far in 2013, their 8-12 record shows you just how much their offense has struggled to start the season.

The White Sox’ 3.26 team ERA is good for second-best in the American League. However, their .227 team batting average is the second-lowest in the AL, making the first few weeks of the season both encouraging and frustrating for the South Siders.

Although the Sox once again failed to produce much offense Wednesday afternoon, Chicago was able to scratch and claw their way to a 3-2 win over the Cleveland Indians.

With 17 runners left on base and just three runs scored in Wednesday’s victory, to the naked eye it may look like the Sox offensive troubles are still unsettled. However, the recent hot hitting of Jeff Keppinger could be a huge key in the Sox offense getting on track.

With two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the fifth of Wednesday’s contest, Keppinger was able to get aboard with a single to right. Alex Rios came up next and ripped a two-run shot into the left field bullpen, which ended being the difference in the ballgame.

Keppinger, who was in an 0-for-24 slump before recording two hits in Monday’s loss to the Tribe, was able to pick up two more hits, a run scored and a RBI in Wednesday’s series finale. Not only has the Sox infielder started to look more comfortable at the plate recently, he’s started to become a spark plug for the Pale Hose.

Although certain guys like Adam Dunn and Tyler Flowers also need to find their swing, Keppinger might just be the man to jump-start the Sox offense. If Keppinger is able to knock in runs when given the opportunity while also getting on base for the Sox thumpers, Chicago’s brilliant pitching may finally be matched with a run-producing offense.

Matt Malecha is a Chicago White Sox writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattMalecha and add him to your network on Google

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