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Alexei Ramirez sits for first time

CHICAGO -– Alexei Ramirez, in the midst of a rocky season that is well below his own expectations, was out of the Chicago White Sox starting lineup for the first time Wednesday.

Leury Garcia, who was acquired Aug. 11 to complete the Alex Rios trade to the Texas Rangers, got the start at shortstop instead while batting leadoff.

Ramirez had started in all 131 White Sox games this season, and while his batting average is a respectable .287, his .377 slugging percentage is well below the .409 mark he had posted over his previous five seasons.

He has just four home runs and 41 RBIs this season, putting him on pace for career lows in each category. Before the season started, Ramirez put an emphasis on run production and his power game.

Manager Robin Ventura said his lineup change was not met with extreme resistance.

“It wasn’t anything to fight about,” Ventura said. “It was more about giving him a day [off].”

The White Sox have not had a true backup at shortstop all season, which has led to Ramirez’s extended playing time.

“I would say if we did, he would have gotten [a day off],” Ventura said. “There are times where you could see he could use a day, where he was fatigued. The way he’s playing you give him a day, and with the day off [Thursday] it turns into two. So he can recharge.”

Ramirez played in 158 games in each of the past two seasons.

Garcia was making just his second start since joining the White Sox. He started at second base Tuesday night, batting ninth.

He has well-above-average speed, but his .310 on-base percentage over six minor league seasons and .237 OPB in 29 major league games does not scream leadoff potential.

“He can because of the speed you can go that route,” Ventura said. “But he’s young. Both Garcias (Leury and Avisail) are young. I don’t think he’s maxed out as far as what he’s going to be. Hopefully this experience makes him better and you go from there. Speed is something you can’t teach.”