|Moncada nears return as White Sox open series vs. Rangers|
Nearing the end of a trying stretch of 27 games in 27 days, the Chicago White Sox may welcome a vital reinforcement back for the stretch run when they open a four-game series against the visiting Texas Rangers on Thursday night.
Out since July 31 due to a right hamstring strain, third baseman Yoan Moncada is close to a return from the injured list after a successful rehab stint with Triple-A Charlotte, Chicago manager Rick Renteria said Wednesday.
"We were wanting him to get through (Tuesday's) game," Renteria said. "I'm sure we'll have some sort of move here in the near future."
Moncada batted .409 (9-for-22) with two home runs, six RBIs and six runs in five games for Charlotte while playing progressively deeper into games at third base. He began his rehab stint Aug. 16 as a designated hitter.
Fresh off a series victory against the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins, the White Sox would appreciate the offensive boost.
Much of the rest of the lineup is heating up, particularly shortstop Tim Anderson, who is batting .407 (35-for-86) in August after missing more than a month due to a high right ankle sprain.
"At the end of the day, you have to keep yourself how you are, but you have to make adjustments," White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson said. "He understood the adjustments he needed to make, he made them and stuck with them."
White Sox lefty Ross Detwiler (1-3, 6.10 ERA) will look to rebound from a string of recent rough outings as he makes his 12th appearance and seventh start on Thursday. Detwiler is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two career outings against the Rangers, both of them starts in 2016.
Right-hander Ariel Jurado (6-9, 5.38 ERA) is set to get the call for the Rangers in his second outing of the season against the White Sox. Pitching June 21 in Arlington, Texas, Jurado took a no-decision after allowing four runs and six hits in six innings with one walk and three strikeouts during an eventual 5-4 Rangers loss.
In his most recent outing, also at home, Jurado surrendered eight runs -- two earned -- and seven hits in two innings during Texas' 12-7 loss to Minnesota on Saturday. Each of the six runs Jurado yielded in the first inning were unearned after he dropped a throw to first base that would have completed an inning-ending 3-6-1 double play without any Twins crossing home plate.
"We let one mistake snowball into a bunch of runs," Texas manager Chris Woodward said. "Those are things that when we get into a mode where we are a contender, we have to be able to stop the bleeding in those moments. You give a good team an extra out. You have to make them pay, and we have to get on the flip side of that."
Jurado is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two career starts against Chicago, striking out five in 10 2/3 innings.
The Rangers took two of three from the White Sox during a home series June 21-23. A victory in the middle game of the series sparked Texas to a season-high six-game winning streak.
Texas scored four unanswered runs to close its Wednesday game and earn an 8-7, walk-off victory against the Los Angeles Angels. Hunter Pence's ninth-inning single scored Elvis Andrus with the deciding run, giving the Rangers their third win -- all in walk-off fashion -- in the four-game series.
--Field Level Media