TORONTO — After starting the season in the minors, left-hander Aaron Bummer has been the White Sox’ best reliever the last two weeks.
Bummer was called up from Class AAA Charlotte on April 28 in place of right-hander Nate Jones, who was put on the injured list with a flexor pronator strain in his right forearm.
In six appearances with the Sox, Bummer has allowed an unearned run and only two hits and struck out nine in eight innings. He threw a hitless ninth inning Friday against the Blue Jays.
Manager Rick Renteria said Bummer has had an “air of confidence” about him this season.
“Bummer has been throwing the ball extremely well,” Renteria said. “He’s attacking the strike zone. He looks like he’s trusting himself a lot more.
“Hopefully, he continues to help us in the role that we use him, which is anytime that we’re in trouble.”
Bummer said his immediate success since the call-up has boosted his confidence.
“I’m pretty locked in right now,” he said. “It’s an absolute great start for me.”
Now the question is, can Bummer sustain it?
He said his goal is to remain consistent the rest of the season, though it might be unrealistic to keep his 0.00 ERA over the next five months.
Led by Bummer, the Sox’ bullpen has shown signs of improvement of late.
Eyes on Tilson
Outfielder Charlie Tilson has been through a lot since he was traded to the Sox in 2016. He had a severe hamstring injury, which resulted in surgery. Then he battled various lower-body injuries, including an ankle injury that forced him to miss the 2017 season.
But Tilson isn’t one to feel sorry for himself.
“Everyone goes through those things,” Tilson said Saturday before the Sox’ 7-2 victory against the Jays. “I feel like I was able to learn from it, and I’m stronger because of it. When I’m out there competing, it’s just a mission for me to win the game.”
At spring training, Renteria noticed Tilson was a lot more confident and aggressive with his swing. He told Tilson he could see him back in the big leagues.
He was called up last month and has been putting together solid at-bats.
Tilson, who went 2-for-4 and had a two-run double in the eighth inning that gave the Sox a 6-1 lead, is hitting .381 (8-for-21) and has three stolen bases.
Even Friday, when Tilson flew out to the warning track to end the game, Renteria praised him for making solid contact and driving the ball hard.
“He’s made some adjustments,” Renteria said. “You have to give him credit.
‘‘He was down a long time with that hamstring injury, and he’s put on some muscle. He’s feeling good and strong, his approach is really solid and he’s able to put some good swings on pitches and drive the ball really well.”
This and that
Renteria said rookie left fielder Eloy Jimenez had another good day running the bases.
“He’s passing all the preliminary tests that we need to inch closer to what will hopefully be a rehab start,” Renteria said.
u Second baseman Yolmer Sanchez hit his first home run, a solo shot to left field in the third inning.
Sanchez, who had eight homers last season, is hitting .225 with four extra-base hits.