De Aza delivers instant offense for Sox

CHICAGO -- Alejandro De Aza hasn’t been around long enough to develop any bad habits so he strolled in Wednesday and offered the White Sox what he’s been doing at Triple-A Charlotte.

De Aza, activated before the game, hit a home run in his first major league at-bat of the season and it gave the White Sox all the runs they needed in a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

Scheduled to play in place of Alex Rios on a least a semi-regular basis, De Aza showed his appreciation for the opportunity by springing the sneak attack on Tigers starter Max Scherzer.

The left-handed hitter lifted an 0-2 pitch to the seats in right field in the second inning, giving the White Sox some rare offense from a center fielder. Rios’ last home run came June 19 at Arizona.

“I was trying to do my best, get a hit, and big things happen,” said De Aza, who was batting a team-leading .322 at Charlotte with nine home runs and 37 RBIs.

There was actually a precident set for De Aza’s home run. When John Danks was pitching in a rehab assignment with Charlotte earlier this month, De Aza hit a home run in his first at-bat. Danks was starting against the Tigers on Wednesday.

“Maybe it’s something with me,” Danks said. “It was great. It’s always nice to pitch with the lead. As much as I try to give it back there in a few innings, it takes a lot of burden off the pitcher. It lets us focus on trying to throw strikes and making us hit the ball.”

Manager Ozzie Guillen was hesitant to call De Aza his new center fielder, though. With Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield facing the White Sox on Friday, followed by two Red Sox left handers, Guillen gave himself some wiggle room to go back to Rios for a day or two.

It’s uncertain how much De Aza’s home run altered Guillen’s weekend lineup plans.

“The right place at the right time,” Gillen said about De Aza. “The way we swing the bat, wow. We faced a pretty good pitcher today; this guy was throwing the ball pretty good and they played good against us today.

“Sometimes when you run into one and you get lucky about it, but this kid, we’ve liked him since spring training. We didn’t have space for him to come on the 25-man roster but I think he’s going to see some playing time and hopefully he can help us.”

De Aza will take whatever he can get. The 27-year-old, who has seen previous big-league playing time with the Marlins and White Sox, finally went deep in his 87th big-league game.

“I’m happy I’m here,” De Aza said. “Thank god they gave me the opportunity to do the little things I was supposed to do.”