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Lillibridge's power a welcome surprise

8/21/2011

One of the biggest surprises of the White Sox season may be that the diminutive Brent Lillibridge has hit as many home runs as Adam Dunn as the end of August nears. Lillibridge matched Dunn’s 11 home runs with a two-run shot in the third inning on Sunday, and has nearly 200 fewer at-bats than Dunn (356 to 159).

Lillibridge didn’t hesitate to admit that even he’s surprised by the number of times he’s broken out his home run trot.

“Yeah, I really am (surprised),” Lillibridge said. “I didn't really think I would be driving that many balls over the fence. The last couple of years I was really working on my swing, stuff like that, that I was in good place to drive the ball and put the ball in play, more importantly, and when I'm not feeling good to still battle. It's been going. I love that they are going over the fence, but you never know. Another day it's doubles and I'm just as happy.”

Manager Ozzie Guillen wasn’t shocked by Lillibridge’s power, but is with how he’s found his way into the lineup on a consistent basis.

“I think this kid is a very strong kid. I never thought he’d hit 11 because I didn’t think he’d have that much opportunity to play,” Guillen said. “This kid, when he hit it, he hit it pretty far.”

Guillen also praised Lillibridge for his versatility on defense. He’s provided a strong glove in the outfield and filled in at first base with Paul Konerko unable to play the field with a calf injury. The fact that Lillibridge had never played first base until earlier this month, yet has made a near seamless transition is just another feather in his cap.

“It’s not one of my fortes,” Lillibridge said of playing first base. “Given a chance to have a right against a lefty and letting Pauly continue to DH and make sure he’s ready when he’s ready has been huge for us. He’s been able to swing the bat and he’s been producing off the DH role. When he’s ready, then I’ll gladly let him do first base and just do my role.”