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Eaton grinds his way through pain

CHICAGO -- Adam Eaton prides himself on his grinder style and truly has been showing it of late.

The speedy leadoff man and center fielder has been playing with a jammed middle finger on his right hand, which is less of a problem since he throws with his left hand. It's has made gripping the bat a little tricky, though.

He was hesitant to talk about it.

"Gosh, yeah uh, no, I'm fine," he said. "It's not broke. It's just hurt. I'm fine. I don't even want to talk about it. Let's not talk about it. We're good."

Eaton, who suffered the injury diving into a base in Boston before the All-Star break, has been able to have success despite the pain. In the five games Eaton has played after the Boston series was completed he is 9-for-18 (.500) at the plate. He has at least two hits in each of the last three games before Tuesday and had reached base 11 times in 18 trips to the plate during the current homestand.

"There's nothing you can really do about it," manager Robin Ventura said. "He just continues to play. It's not on his throwing hand. He felt he could play through it where it wasn't going to really bother him that much. There is some pain with it, but he seems to manage it."

Eaton is showing a willingness to play through pain, having also endured leg injuries earlier this season. But the real key to his game is speed, defense, working counts and getting on base. That's what helped him to become the White Sox's recipient of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association’s Heart and Hustle Award, an honor given to a player on each team.

"My wife and I talked about it today, and it's my first big league trophy, which is kind of cool. I'm honored," Eaton said. "I remember Willie Bloomquist getting it last year when we were in Arizona, and for me it's something you should get every year.

"If you're playing the right way and healthy and doing what you should be doing, you should definitely compete for that trophy every year. I'm very pleased, and I feel like I'm in with some good company. You've got to play hard every day, and I'm blessed to have the opportunity and I'm excited."