White Sox’ Josh Harrison singing a different tune in June

White Sox’ Josh Harrison singing a different tune in June

Josh Harrison of the White Sox celebrates a two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the fifth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 28, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Getty Images)

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Infielder Josh Harrison’s offense was so inept for the first two months of the season — his first with the White Sox — that people who follow the team wanted to see him shipped out.

‘‘I’ll be honest, I don’t care what anybody says,’’ said Harrison, a 10-year veteran who turns 35 next month.

It’s probably a good thing Harrison, an All-Star for the Pirates in 2014 and 2017 who signed a one-year, $5.5 million deal to fill a void at second base after the Sox traded Nick Madrigal and declined to pick up the option on Cesar Hernandez, tuned out the noise.

Entering the game Wednesday against the Angels and starter Shohei Ohtani, Harrison was batting .346/.403/.509 in June. He clubbed a tying two-run home run in the Sox’ 11-4 victory Tuesday.

‘‘Been feeling pretty good at the plate, getting my rhythm and timing,’’ Harrison said. ‘‘Putting good swings on good pitches.’’

Harrison is making the signing look better than it appeared when his batting line stood at .167/.248/.255 on June 2, his demeanor and clubhouse presence notwithstanding.

‘‘You don’t get to 10 years in [the majors] by accident,’’ Harrison said. ‘‘I’ve been through every emotion possible: anger, sad, upset, frustrated, excited. And I’ve dealt with adversity at the beginning of the season, but it’s not anything I hadn’t gone through before. I know that’s what happens. You play the game, and it can turn.’’

It took a good turn when Harrison walked off the Blue Jays in a 7-6 victory in 12 innings June 21 at Guaranteed Rate Field. That came a day after he homered in an 8-7 victory. He made big defensive plays in both games.

Harrison’s early-season disappointment parallels that of a team that was three games below .500 entering the rubber game of the series against the Angels. The Sox are digging in and resisting the forces that threaten to keep them looking up at the Twins and Guardians in the weak American League Central.

‘‘That’s just a testament of what we’ve got going here, guys showing up every day and you go about your work,’’ Harrison said.

Even though Harrison was playing better, some fans were incensed when he and not prospect Lenyn Sosa — who was called up from Double-A Birmingham on Thursday after infielder Danny Mendick suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in a collision with outfielder Adam Haseley — started at second base that day. Sosa had big numbers at Birmingham, and many thought he could provide a needed spark to a lagging offense.

Sosa played in four games, starting three, and went 1-for-12 before being optioned to Triple-A Charlotte when third baseman Yoan Moncada came off the injured list Tuesday.

‘‘Teams kind of had an idea of how to pitch [Sosa], with the idea of, ‘This is how we need to execute against him,’ ’’ assistant hitting coach Howie Clark said. ‘‘He had one hit, but he hit a couple of balls hard. For me, he was very calm, he has great work ethic, he listens. I don’t think there is a lot that has to change.’’

The Sox like Sosa’s makeup, but they think the experience and at-bats he will get at Charlotte will serve him well.

Harrison, meanwhile, was an easy choice as far as manager Tony La Russa was concerned.

‘‘Just watch every game that he plays,’’ La Russa said. “He could sit two or three days, and he comes up there with vigor. He’s got a career of making plays and taking tough at-bats. He got off to a slow start, and now he’s starting to be himself. But he’s never lost his positive frame of mind in the clubhouse. And if he’s not playing, he’s there, ready.

‘‘He can’t be any better than he is professionally; personally, as well.’’

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