The Chicago White Sox continue to have injury problems as they open a four-game series against the visiting Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.
Not only did the White Sox fail to complete a three-game sweep of their series with the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, falling 9-5, but three Chicago players left the contest because of injuries.
The Orioles, meanwhile, are coming off a 7-0 home victory on Wednesday night against the Washington Nationals that was shortened to six innings by rain. Baltimore’s Austin Hays hit for the cycle.
Chicago shortstop Danny Mendick injured his right knee in the second inning against Toronto and was helped off the field after a collision in foul territory with left fielder Adam Haseley, who made the catch.
According to White Sox manager Tony La Russa, Mendick’s right knee banged against his left knee.
“He’s got a pretty good-sized bruise,” La Russa said.
Chicago right fielder Adam Engel left the fourth with a sore right hamstring, an ailment that La Russa said is “concerning.”
Mendick and Engel will be re-evaluated on Thursday.
White Sox center fielder Luis Robert was removed in the eighth inning due to sore legs, but he could play on Thursday.
“We’ve got to track Luis, his legs,” La Russa said. “It was a good time to get him out of there.”
Robert failed to go to second base in the sixth inning even though his RBI single bounced past Toronto left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
“When he doesn’t go to second, you know he’s feeling some ouchies there,” La Russa said.
Robert extended his hitting streak to 13 games, during which he is 20-for-57 (.351) with three doubles, one home run, 16 RBIs and 10 runs.
Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson did not play on Wednesday, two games after he returned from a groin injury that had put him on the injured list. He is being monitored.
“My cop-out is, this is a doctor-required day off,” La Russa said. “I don’t mind taking the heat for the decision.”
Chicago’s Andrew Vaughn went 3-for-5 on Wednesday. He is batting .455 (15-for-33 in his past seven games with three doubles, one home run and two RBIs.
Baltimore will start right-hander Dean Kremer (1-1, 2.35 ERA) on Thursday, his first career appearance against the White Sox.
Right-hander Johnny Cueto (1-3, 2.95 ERA) will start for Chicago. He is 0-2 with an 8.00 ERA in three career starts against Baltimore.
With rain predicted for the Wednesday game, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde had a simple strategy: “I think when you know rain’s coming, you definitely want to try to score first and score often.”
The plan worked with help from Hays, who became the sixth player in Orioles history to hit for the cycle and the first since Jonathan Villar in 2019. Hays also threw out a runner at third base from center field in the first inning.
Hays had an infield single in the first inning, a home run in the third, a triple in the fourth and a double in the sixth. He is the first Oriole to hit for the cycle in the first six innings of a game.
“That’s incredible,” Hyde said. “What a special night. Beyond incredible to do something like that.”
The Orioles got some good news outside of the game, too. Infielder Ramon Urias, sidelined since June 10 due to a left oblique strain, resumed baseball activities Wednesday.
“This is the first day getting him going back on track,” Hyde said.
–Field Level Media