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Avisail Garcia sprains knee in on-deck circle, goes on DL

Avisail Garcia. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The White Sox placed outfielder Avisail Garcia on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to August 7) with a sprained right knee Tuesday and recalled outfielder Jason Coats from AAA Charlotte.

Garcia injured the knee while stretching in the on-deck circle during Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles.

“I was stretching and feel my knee pop,” Garcia, 25, said. “I continued to play the game because I didn’t feel anything.”

On Sunday morning, Garcia woke up with a sore knee. He was batting .290 with four homers over his last 11 games.

“Completely strange things continue to happen,” said manager Robin Ventura, who has seen four rookies go down making their major league debuts this season.

“Every time I start hitting again, something happens,” he said. “Same, same, same. I was doing better and I hurt my hamstring [and missed four games] and now again.”

Garcia had eight hits in his previous 18 at-bats when a hamstring issue shelved him in early May.

Used primarily as a designated hitter until picking up more playing time in right field of late, Garcia is hitting .240 with nine homers, 11 doubles, one triple and 36 RBI over 86 games. He said he prefers playing the outfield, although he hasn’t played there much because of his defense.

Asked if playing the field helps his hitting, Garcia said, “one thousand percent.”

“Because you’re in the game, no? If you [play defense] and make a good play and go with that energy to home plate.

“The only way you’re going to get better is playing, right? That’s it.”

Coats, 26, batted .091 (2-for-22) with one double and two runs scored in 12 games over two stints with the Sox this season. He is batting .329 with eight homers, 17 doubles, two triples, eight homers and 29 RBI with a .390 on-base percentage over 65 games with Charlotte.

“I know I can hit. It’s coming,” Garcia said. “I have to be patient. It’s coming because I know I can hit.”

One thousand percent. One thousand percent.