PITTSBURGH — Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada was eager to make himself useful again after coming off the 10-day disabled list.
“It’s not easy to be out for 10 days,” Moncada said through an interpreter before leading off and playing second base against the Pirates on Tuesday night, going 1-for-4 with a single in the eighth. “You have to get in your routine again, and the things you were used to doing when you were playing. But I’m feeling 100 percent.”
Moncada, 21, had been on the DL since May 5 with a tight left hamstring. Before he went down, he was batting .263/.359/.509 with six homers, eight doubles, 15 RBI and four stolen bases in 29 games — finding a groove in what will be his first full season in the majors.
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“I was getting better before the injury — feeling good and hitting the ball really hard,” he said. “I’m happy with my numbers, but there’s still plenty of season to go through.”
Part of playing a full season is doing what’s necessary to stay on the field. Moncada says he’s learning.
“You have to watch your diet, get rest and be consistent in all those aspects, not just on the field but off the field,” he said. “Those are important aspects if you want to be healthy all season.”
Right-hander Carson Fulmer, who had been scheduled to pitch Wednesday afternoon against the Pirates, was pushed back to a Friday home start against the Rangers. Left-hander Hector Santiago will instead make his third start Wednesday.
Fulmer (2-3, 6.23 ERA) allowed five runs, three hits and four walks while recording only five outs against the Cubs on Friday and would seem to be fighting to keep his place in the rotation.
For the Rangers series Thursday through Sunday, the Sox’ rotation will be James Shields, Fulmer, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. That gives Fulmer two days’ extra rest and Giolito one.
Manager Rick Renteria said plugging Santiago in has been in the works for a few days.
“The way it lines up right now, we like it,” Renteria said. “It separates a couple guys. We’ll see how it looks.”
Davidson on Belle-ringing pace
Matt Davidson, who belted his 11th homer Sunday, is on pace to hit 48, which would the second-most in Sox history behind Albert Belle’s 49 in 1998.
But there was no room for Davidson, the Sox’ primary designated hitter, in an interleague game against Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams. Yolmer Sanchez, a stronger defensive option who was batting .296/.341/.437 with 19 RBI, started at third on Tuesday.
“I would say it also speaks more to Sanchy also having a nice season,” Renteria said. “We give Sanchy an opportunity to put his best [left] side of the plate in the box. It gives us an opportunity to use both his defensive ability and his bat with the matchup.
“But Matty has played very, very good third base. I don’t think anybody should look at Matthew as a defender who has a deficit, because he’s a pretty good defender at first and third.”
Davidson was batting .261/.383/.591 with 24 RBI.
“I just look at the lineup every day, and what happens is what happens,” Davidson said. “I think I’m a good third baseman. I think I’ve shown that, too, in a very limited time there.”
ESPN selected the White Sox’ game at Cleveland on May 28 for a national broadcast as part of the network’s Memorial Day schedule. The game will air on Ch. 9 in the Chicago area and be blacked out locally on ESPN.