Homer-happy White Sox visit Tigers
DETROIT — The Chicago White Sox don’t know if they’ll have their manager, Rick Renteria, with them for their Thursday afternoon game at Detroit but they hope their home run bats continue to show up against the Tigers.
Renteria was released from a Minneapolis hospital late Tuesday afternoon after testing following an episode of lightheadedness prior to Monday night’s game. He returned to Chicago on Wednesday, where he was scheduled for further testing at RUSH University Medical Center under the supervision of Dr. Scott Palmer.
“He said he feels great and hopefully he’ll join us soon. It was very short (text message), but it’s great news,” acting manager and bench coach Joe McEwing said Wednesday after Chicago beat Minnesota 7-3. “It brings a smile to my face to hear that he feels good and hopefully he will be joining us soon.”
The White Sox have won six of their last eight games and the long ball has played a big part. Chicago has hit 63 home runs in its last 42 games and have homered in 14 straight (23 total).
“We’ve picked it up offensively,” said Nicky Delmonico, one of three players to hit home runs Wednesday. “And you know, our pitching has been really good and I feel like we’ve been playing good defense. It’s all clicking right now.”
Detroit dropped an 8-2 decision to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night to split their two-game set.
Left-hander Matthew Boyd (7-11, 4.27 ERA) will make his first start against the White Sox this season on Thursday. He has faced them nine times in his short career, though, but is only 1-4 with a 4.99 ERA in those starts.
Chicago counters with right-hander James Shields (5-14, 4.39 ERA), who is making the 399th start of his career. Shields is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts against Detroit this season. For his career, the right-hander is 9-10 with a 4.44 ERA in 28 starts against the Tigers.
The White Sox traded left-hander Luis Avilan to Philadelphia on Wednesday in exchange for right-hander Felix Paulino, who will join Chicago’s Double-A farm team.
Chicago purchased the contract of right-hander Ryan Burr, 24, to replace Avilan. Burr was 4-3 with a 2.45 ERA and two saves in 37 games in Double-A and Triple-A.
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire announced prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Cubs that right-hander Michael Fulmer will come off the disabled list to start Friday night against the White Sox.
It will be Fulmer’s first start since he went on the disabled list with an oblique strain July 20.
“He’s going to be limited to about 70 pitches,” Gardenhire said. “He’s passed all the tests and feels great. This is the right thing to do.”
Gardenhire said he is likely to have left-hander Ryan Carpenter, who just got his first major league win during the weekend, remain in the rotation with the return of Fulmer. Adaptable southpaw Blaine Hardy will return to the bullpen when he comes off the disabled list (elbow) on Monday.
“We have to make a decision on how we’re going to go on that one,” Gardenhire said. “We’ve been talking about moving Hardy back to the bullpen. It would be better for him. Andy (pitching coach Rick Anderson) brought it up and Hardy seemed to agree. Nothing is finalized yet.”
Detroit Center fielder JaCoby Jones begins a three-day rehab assignment with Toledo on Friday and will rejoin the Tigers after that if everything with his healing hamstring checks out.
With Sept. 1 and roster expansion looming, it would not be surprising if the player Detroit options out simply remains with the team and gets activated when the calendar turns over.