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Jimenez returns to lineup in White Sox victory

Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez watches his ball after hitting a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Cleveland.
Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez watches his ball after hitting a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Cleveland.

Eloy Jimenez was in a joking mood before Wednesday night’s White Sox game.

Jimenez returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s doubleheader in Cleveland. He suffered a concussion in Sunday’s loss to the Twins when he misjudged where he was in relation to the left-field wall, running into the wall.

He has had similar misadventures in the past.

“I had a fight with the wall and the wall beat me twice,” Jimenez joked. “Wall 2, Eloy 0.”

Jimenez batted sixth and was back in left field. He avoided more run-ins with the wall and went 0-for-3 at the plate with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning that scored Yoan Moncada to make the score 2-0.

The White Sox defeated Cleveland 4-0 Wednesday night to avoid the series sweep. They play at Kansas City on Friday night.

If Jimenez was worried about the team’s 2-4 start to the season, he wasn’t letting on.

“We have 55 more games so anything can happen and we got a good team,” Jimenez said during a pregame Zoom session with the media, “… and I know we’re going to get better.”

He’s also going to keep working to improve his defense. Nobody wants a repeat of his “fight” with the outfield wall, especially because the wall won.

Jimenez had to take himself out of Sunday’s game due to wall-induced dizziness. He said he was “bored” Tuesday being out of the lineup.

But he had no hesitation about going back out to left field.

“I feel really comfortable,” Jimenez said. “It just happened. It was something I never expect. But I’ll keep working and getting better, you know?”

Jimenez said he was trying to time a leap to catch the ball before it went over the fence when it interrupted his plans.

Despite the mishap manager Rick Renteria believes Jimenez can be a very good left fielder.

“He’s a very strong and tall man and put his full force of body weight into that attempted leap,” Renteria said. “But those are things we can work on, yeah. I think he’ll learn from that experience. We definitely talked about it almost immediately after it happened.”

Jimenez also will keep working with rookie center fielder Luis Robert. The outfielders have to make sure they are communicating on flyballs because Robert seems fast enough and aggressive enough to reach everything.

“He plays hard and he’s got a lot of range,” Jimenez said. “That happened to me the other day. I said I got it, and he said, Get out of here. So it’s going to happen, but I think he’s going to learn that we are in the outfield too. He’s not the only outfielder back there.”

In other news, the White Sox placed right-handed pitcher Jimmy Lambert on the 10-day injured list with a right forearm strain and brought up pitcher Matt Foster from the Schaumburg training facility. It is Foster’s first time on a major-league roster.

Roster was drafted in the 20thround of the 2016 draft by the White Sox.

“It’s awesome. I mean I’ve worked my whole life to hopefully get a chance and I’ve finally got it. It’s uncertain circumstances, but I’m happy and excited to be here and I’m ready to get out there and get on the mound,” Foster said.

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