KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cody Asche has mostly wanted to contribute in some form to the early winning ways for the White Sox.
It just so happened that Thursday afternoon's big contribution arrived a day after he was benched for not living up to White Sox standards, ie: a lack of hustle. Asche's two-run double in the fourth inning helped the White Sox pull away from the Kansas City Royals as they salvaged a series split with an 8-3 victory in front of 36,525 at Kauffman Stadium.
"It feels good honestly just to add to the team and be a contributing part of the lineup," Asche said. "It hasn't been the best go so far. But in a DH role you have to keep taking your at-bats, try to execute and today got one past (Eric) Hosmer and built us a lead and (Derek Holland) went to work."
The bouncing double off Ian Kennedy was a nice bit of redemption for Asche, who inexplicably exited Wednesday's loss after only one at-bat. Manager Rick Renteria said afterward that Asche hadn't injured himself when he struck out during a third-inning at-bat against Kansas City starting pitcher Nate Karns on Wednesday. Even so, Matt Davidson pinch hit for Asche the next time through the order.
On Thursday, Asche revealed his absence was the result of a failure to live up to the team's standards. The struggling designated hitter swung and missed at a 2-2 pitch from Karns that bounced in the dirt and made no effort to run to first base, almost immediately heading for the dugout. While neither he nor Renteria confirmed the exact reason for his benching, Asche made it clear he knew he was in the wrong.
"There's standards that need to be set if you're going to be a White Sox player," Asche said. "If you don't meet the standards, sometimes the manager has to take action. Last night was the case. I don't foresee it being a problem today or moving forward or ever again."
Following the game, Asche said the incident is "water under the bridge" and he was pleased to find his name penciled into Renteria's starting lineup. Though Asche has struggled -- he's 5-for-49 with 18 strikeouts -- Renteria plans to continue to give him every chance to rebound.
The manager also said he was satisfied with Asche's reaction to Wednesday's decision.
"We just have certain things we want to follow through with and he understood," Renteria said before the game. "And I'll leave it at that.
"Hopefully he'll give us what we need, a little shot in the arm. Again, you've seen, we're trying to give us the best opportunity with all the guys we have. Hopefully he'll give us something as a left-handed bat in that lineup."