Rookie right-hander Dane Dunning will start Game 3, and Eloy Jimenez returns to the lineup for the White Sox in the third and deciding game of their wild card series against the Athletics in Oakland Thursday.
Right-hander Mike Fiers will start for the A’s. The announcements were made Thursday morning. Game time is 2:08 p.m. CT (ESPN, 720-AM).
Jimenez, who has not played since last Thursday, is batting fourth and is limited to designated hitter duty coming off a right mid foot sprain. The Sox did not announce their lineup until an hour before the game as Jimenez tested the foot running in the outfield grass.
The Sox lineup:
Tim Anderson SS
Yasmani Grandal C
Jose Abreu 1B
Eloy Jimenez DH
Yoan Moncada 3B
Luis Robert CF
Nomar Mazara RF
Adam Engel LF
Nick Madrigal 2B
Dunning is 2-0 with a 3.97 ERA in seven starts since getting called up from Schaumburg. He allowed five runs (four earned) on three hits and three walks against the Cubs Saturday, his last start, and gave up four runs on six hits and one walk in four innings against the Indians in his previous outing.
With a fully rested bullpen that has been a Sox strength, manager Rick Renteria will likely have Dunning on a short leash.
“I mean honestly, we have anywhere from 100 to 97 [mph in the bullpen], so there’s no lack of velocity there,” Sox left-hander Dallas Keuchel said Wednesday. “It seems like every guy that comes out of the bullpen has a put-away pitch and that high-velocity heater. If we go opener tomorrow, I really feel confident. If we go Dane Dunning, I have the utmost confidence in him as well just based on how he’s performed in this short season.
“We’re going to rest easy tonight and we’re going to wake up with some confidence for Game 3.”
Fiers (6-3, 4.59 ERA) was 5-2 with a 3.43 ERA over his final seven starts this year. In two starts against the Sox last year, both wins, Fiers did not allow a run in 14 2/3 innings. Fiers is 4-0 with a 1.58 ERA in eight career starts against the Sox.
Other options for the A’s included left-handers Sean Manaea or right-hander Frankie Montas, a former Sox prospect. But Montas threw 113 pitches on Sunday, and the Sox were 14-0 against lefties in the regular season.
The A’s started lefty Jesus Luzardo in the Sox’ 4-1 victory in Game 1 Tuesday and righty Chris Bassitt in the A’s 5-3 win in Game 2.
The winner advances to play the Astros in the American League Division Series which starts Monday in Los Angeles.