Dylan Covey provides strong start, White Sox get go-ahead run on squeeze bunt to open four-game series vs. Jays
Dylan Covey gave the White Sox a chance.
The right-hander gave his team a solid start Thursday night, holding the Blue Jays to two runs – one earned – on two hits over 5 2/3 innings, and the Sox broke a tie with a suicide squeeze and short sacrifice fly in the eighth inning, opening a four-game series against the Blue Jays with a 4-2 win before 20,119 fans at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Covey allowed a leadoff homer in the second inning to Freddy Galvis and then a single to to Brandon Drury before retiring 12 in a row. He struck out one and walked two.
Protecting a 2-1 lead, Covey, who threw 84 pitches and got eight ground-ball outs, should have completed six innings with a run allowed but third baseman Yoan Moncada’s throwing error on Randal Grichuk’s ground ball allowed Eric Sogard to score the tying run with two outs.
Evan Marshall pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, Kelvin Herrera pitched a scoreless eighth and Alex Colome the ninth for his ninth save in as many opportunities. The Sox bullpen allowed no hits after Covey gave up two.
In the decisive eighth, Yolmer Sanchez walked, advanced to third on Charlie Tilson’s (2-for-4) single and scored on Ryan Cordell’s squeeze bunt. Tilson challenged left fielder Billy McKinney’s arm from short left on Leury Garcia’s sacrifice fly and scored the fourth run on a close play at home that was overturned after a replay review.
Catcher Welington Castillo grounded an RBI single to center with two outs in the first against Marcus Stroman and Ryan Cordell had an RBI infield single in the fourth for the Sox.
For the time being, at least, left-hander Manny Banuelos is staying off the injured list two days after he left his start against the Indians with a shoulder strain.
After the White Sox’ off day Wednesday, a roster move placing Banuelos on the IL was anticipated – perhaps with the addition of a bullpen arm until a starter is needed before Banuelos’ turn Monday in Houston – but the bullpen was rested after the off day, and manager Rick Renteria said an MRI on Banuelos’ shoulder was clean.
“Manny is continuing to improve; right now he’s day to day,” Renteria said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and we’ll continue to move forward until we know otherwise.”
Banuelos was unavailable for comment, as he was Tuesday. While Renteria said “it’s possible, yes” for Banuelos to start Monday, a pitcher throwing 80-plus pitches six days after walking off a mound with a trainer seems improbable.
“We’ve got to take it day to day,” Renteria said. “We’ll see how he feels [Friday] and go from there.”
A rest for Anderson
Yoan Moncada got two days off with Tuesday’s game and Wednesday’s off day. It was Tim Anderson’s turn Thursday.
“The best thing for me to do is try to get those two youngsters that have been on the base a lot a little break,’’ Renteria said.
“In the long run, it’s the best thing for me to try to get him a little bit of a break.”
Jimenez at Charlotte
Eloy Jimenez singled twice in five at-bats, struck out twice and made a throwing error in left field in his third minor league rehab game for Class AAA Charlotte.
Renteria gave no indication whether Jimenez might return before Monday, which was general manager Rick Hahn said was a target day for him to return but not ruling out this weekend.
“As long as he’s healthy it’s encouraging,” Renteria said, “so right now he’s moving along.”