White Sox activate Eloy Jimenez, option Dylan Covey to Class AAA

Covey was sent to Class AAA Charlotte after allowing five runs without retiring a batter in a loss to the Twins.

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Dylan Covey walks off the mound after being relieved during Sunday’s game.

AP Photos

Eloy Jimenez returned Sunday. Unfortunately for Dylan Covey and the White Sox, they were down by five runs before he took his first at-bat.

And for the time being, that will be Covey’s last start in the majors for a while.

Covey faced five batters, retired none and gave up two homers in Minnesota’s 11-1 victory against the Sox. Max Kepler opened the game with a double before Jorge Polanco’s two-run homer. Nelson Cruz and Luis Arraez followed with singles before Miguel Sano’s three-run home run ended Covey’s day.

After the game, the Sox optioned Covey to Class AAA Charlotte, where he will work as a starter. A corresponding move will come before the game Tuesday against the Mets.

“Sometimes I try to be too perfect, make too good of a pitch, and the pitch won’t be as crisp as when my body is loose,” Covey said. “Then everything comes out good, comes out firing. The moment I tense up, the spin on the ball, just everything, the muscles tense up and things aren’t quite as crisp for me.”

Covey missed over a month with right shoulder inflammation and struggled badly after returning. Since coming back, Covey has gone 0-3 with a 15.68 ERA, and in two of his three starts he’s failed to get out of the first -inning, taxing the bullpen.

Manager Rick Renteria termed the move a “reset” and said Covey has to “put himself in the mindset of pitching with conviction, pitching with confidence, truly trusting the stuff that he has.”

“Right now all we talked about is resetting, getting himself back on track,” Renteria said. “We believe that he has the stuff to pitch in the big leagues. It’s just a matter of being able to use it in practical terms. We’ve had a couple games now where we’ve had to really get to the pen quickly, so it puts everybody in a bind, all the guys that we use throughout the ballgame.”

At least the Sox saw the return of Jimenez, who went 0-for-3 as the designated hitter in his first game back from his second stint on the injured list this year.

“He’s been doing a lot of work, looks really good,” Renteria said. “I’m sure he’ll be a little bit behind, but getting him back in there, just by putting him in there, creates a presence for us.”

The Sox are limiting Jimenez’s time in the outfield for a few days as he continues to throw. But they wanted his bat in the lineup and -decided to bring him back to the majors instead of sending him out on a rehab assignment.

“Obviously getting him back in, first and foremost, is a sign that he’s healthy,” Renteria said. “Secondly, obviously he’s been down a couple weeks, so he might not be as sharp as we want him to be, but he was going to have to get some at-bats some place. I’d rather them be here.”

Jimenez missed almost a month earlier this year with a right ankle sprain, and he said Sunday it took him a week or a week and a half to get back into rhythm.

“I’m just going to play hard, and let’s see what happens,” Jimenez said.

While Jimenez will try to restore his rhythm, Covey is going back to the minors -after a trying July.

“Disappointed in myself, disappointed obviously, but a reset is a good word for it,” Covey said. “I believe I’ll be back. I have the stuff to be here. I just need to get everything clicking on all cylinders.”

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