CHICAGO -- A weekend in New York did not prove to be a positive getaway for Gordon Beckham.
The White Sox second baseman finished the three-game set in an 0-for-11 funk with seven strikeouts. But Beckham looks more at being where he wanted to be offensively in the two games before in Texas, when he knocked out two hits apiece, and doesn't place as much focus on his struggles in the Big Apple.
"Today's a new day," said Beckham. "I know I had a rough weekend, but overall, I feel good. We've done some work today, and I feel good about what we're doing. It's a matter of me just focusing in on my preparation before the game and keeping that going during the game.
"Sometimes, when the game starts, I get too excited, too antsy, too much goal-oriented, I guess. I think, any day, it's going to happen, it's going to go. But I'm still working hard, and that's the way it's going to be."
After winning the 2009 American League Rookie of the Year Award, Beckham understands greater expectations were placed upon him going into the 2010 campaign. He welcomes those challenges, understanding his personal goals stem from making adjustments as AL pitchers adjust to him.
"My adjustment has been I've been pulling off the ball," Beckham said. "I just have to stay on the ball. My swing is good enough to where if I just stay on the ball and square it up, I should be OK. I don't even worry about what they're throwing, because if I'm locked in, it doesn't matter.
"Everybody wants to find a reason why we're losing. Baseball is a game where you have to play every game. It doesn't matter what you've done in the past. There's not really an answer. You just have to play better. Personally, everybody just has to say, 'We've got to be better. I've got to be better.' And that's going to make the team better."
In Monday's 5-1 victory over the Royals, Beckham walked twice and scored a run, finishing 0-for-2.
Putz awaits first back-to-back outings
CHICAGO -- J.J. Putz has yet to work in back-to-back games in his first season with the White Sox, but it has had more to do with game situations than Putz's recovery from 2009 elbow surgery.
"I don't think the [back-to-back] situation has presented itself yet," said Putz. "I haven't had a day where I said, 'I can't go today' or anything like that.
"It's more the situation. When we have everyone [in the bullpen] throwing so well, there's really not a need for it," Putz said.
The 33-year-old veteran has no complaints through the first 25 games of the regular season. He didn't have concerns about his elbow responding coming into the campaign so much as he wondered how everything would react once he reached real-game intensity. His velocity climbed during the month of April, and Putz believes that increase will continue, to some extent.
"I'm still getting stronger," Putz said. "Obviously, I would love to throw 96 or 97 [mph] again, and I think I will. It's just a matter of time. Being off for nine months of not really doing anything, it takes a long time to condition it back into that type of action, into everything.
"At the beginning, I was 91 or 92. In my last outing, I was sitting at 94, and a couple before that it was 93 or 94. It's still building. We'll see what happens."
In the interim, manager Ozzie Guillen plans to follow a cautious approach with his right-handed setup man.
"We have to be careful with him back-to-back, because he went through a lot of arm problems," said Guillen. "Depends on how many pitches he threw the night before, but it's not about how many pitches. It's about how many times he gets up, and then we'll be careful with him."
Pods received warmly by Chicago faithful
CHICAGO -- Prior to Monday's game, Scott Podsednik expressed hope that his return to Chicago would be greeted with more "claps than boos." Podsednik got his wish through a nice ovation in his first at-bat before grounding out to shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
Podsednik has jumped out to a hot start for the Royals, hitting .323 with nine RBIs. Juan Pierre, his replacement, has done the exact opposite, sitting at .204 with 20 hits and 20 total bases to his credit following Monday's 5-1 victory, causing some White Sox fans to long for the return of the 2005 World Series hero.
Podsednik's ninth-inning home run on Monday landed two rows behind the blue seat permanently installed in right-center to commemorate his walk-off home run from Game 2 of the 2005 World Series.
Pierre returned to the White Sox leadoff spot Monday after dropping to the ninth spot of the order in the Yankees series. And Podsednik believes Pierre soon will find a more productive level.
"I know what it's like to start off slow," Podsednik said. "I think more importance is put on it because it's the start of the season. You have one of these lulls in the middle of the season, it's not as heightened.
"Just because it's the start and everyone is looking to get off to a hot start and guys are under the microscope coming over to new clubs, it's just heightened a little bit. That guy is going to be fine. He's done it for a long time, and Juan will get it going."
Konerko won't rest with weekly honor
CHICAGO -- White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko was chosen as the Bank of America American League Player of the Week for the period ending May 2, as announced on Monday. In six games, Konerko hit .316 with five runs scored and AL-bests with four home runs and 10 RBIs. The team captain leads the Majors with his 12 home runs.
Konerko has never been one to revel in his own glory, even after setting a franchise record for most April home runs and earning his third career weekly honor.
"For me, I'm pretty set in my ways, and every day I come to the park and what I did yesterday or last week or last month isn't going to help this team win tonight," Konerko said. "The older I get, the more you're around as a player, the more money you make, it's not just about doing well, it's about until everything is in line -- you're doing well, the team is doing well and everything is in place --there's a certain emptiness there until you get that.
"You're job isn't done. It's not about putting up numbers personally. It's more than that. You have to try and be better around here, and I understand and I know the responsibility. I don't think it's just about me putting up numbers. It's about the whole package.
"When you get to a certain point in your career, that that's what you're shooting for," Konerko said. "It's not just about that one thing. You have to try to do it all to be a good player."
Third to first
Ozzie Guillen moved into sole possession of third place on the all-time White Sox managerial win list with his 523rd victory on Monday night. He passed Tony La Russa (522). Guillen will manage career game No. 1,000 on Tuesday ... Alex Rios welcomed a new son to the world this weekend, named Alex Javier Rios ... A.J. Pierzynski is 8-for-20 in his past seven games and is hitting .423 in his last 19 against the Royals ... Andruw Jones has five hits in his past four games, three for extra bases, and four RBIs ... Rios is hitting .381 during his five game hitting streak.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.