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White Sox put James Shields on DL with strained lat

James Shields pitches in his most recent start Sunday against the Twins. The White Sox placed Shields on the 10-day disabled list Friday.

James Shields’ strong start has been interrupted by a strained right lat muscle.

The White Sox put Shields on the 10-day disabled list Friday, a day before he was scheduled to make his fourth start. The move is retroactive to April 18.

General manager Rick Hahn said the club would purchase the contract of right-hander Mike Pelfrey from Class AAA Charlotte to start Saturday against the Indians.

“We do think that based on the MRI that we performed on [Shields] this afternoon that it’s a relatively minor strain, and we’re optimistic that he will only miss a couple of turns through the rotation,” Hahn said.

Shields felt some discomfort in his last outing Sunday against the Twins but was able to pitch six innings. He received treatment the last few days and tested the muscle Friday but felt more discomfort, Hahn said.

Shields, 35, is 1-0 with a 1.62 ERA in three starts. He has limited opponents to a .153 batting average.

“There’s no reason for me to believe right now that he won’t be able to pick up where he left off once he comes off the DL here hopefully in a couple of weeks,” Hahn said. “You certainly never want to see anybody wind up on the disabled list, but we didn’t want to take the chance with him.”

Pelfrey, 33, went 4-10 with a 5.07 ERA in 24 appearances (22 starts) with the Tigers last season. He has a lifetime record of 65-91 with a 4.57 ERA.

Feeling better

After enduring back-to-back bouts with the flu that cost him six games and 10 pounds, third baseman Todd Frazier sounded like a celebrity spokesman for the importance of proper hygiene.

“You’ve just got to stay clean,” Frazier said. “Wash your hands every time you get a chance. I had to learn that the hard way.

‘‘My hands are as dry as can be right now. I feel like I’m overwashing them.”

Frazier returned to the lineup after missing four consecutive games and six of the last eight. He batted cleanup between Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Frazier said he regained the 10 pounds he lost by eating frequent, healthy meals.

“A lot of chicken, man,” Frazier said.

Ready to go

Catcher Geovany Soto is eligible to return from the 10-day disabled list Saturday after missing the last nine games because of inflammation in his right elbow. The Sox optioned Kevan Smith to Class AAA Charlotte after the game Friday.

He threw to the bases before the game and reported no problems with his arm. Soto said he was ready to be activated but would defer to the team to determine his return date.

“I felt like it was angry a little bit, my forearm and stuff, but now it’s a lot better,” he said.

Soto, 34, is hitting .267 (4-for- 15) with three home runs and five RBI in five games.

Follow me on Twitter @tcmusick.

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