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White Sox pitcher Jimmy Cordero, manager Rick Renteria suspended, fined by MLB

Renteria got one game and Cordero three for intentional action in the Sox’ 10-0 loss to the Cubs on Friday.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria, second from left, argues with umpires as catcher Yasmani Grandal, right, and relief pitcher Jimmy Cordero react during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. Cordero ejected by home plate umpire Dan Bellino. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photos

White Sox right-hander Jimmy Cordero was handed a three-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for intentionally hitting Willson Contreras of the Cubs with a pitch Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field, MLB announced Saturday.

Sox manager Rick Renteria received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine as a result of Cordero’s intentional actions, and pitching coach Don Cooper was fined. Renteria served his suspension Saturday. Cordero is appealing.

“They did what they had to do,” Renteria said Saturday.

After the game Friday, Renteria and Cordero said the pitch was not intentional.

“We stated our case, so to speak,” Renteria said. “We explained it wasn’t something we were looking to do, and it happened. But it’s in their judgement, it’s the protocol they have in place. Just abide by it.”

Cordero and Renteria were ejected after Cordero hit Contreras with a pitch in the seventh inning of the Sox’ 10-0 loss. It was an apparent response to Contreras’ bat flip after a homer against Dylan Cease in the third inning. Ironically, the Sox’ “Change the Game” slogan stems from Tim Anderson’s bat-flipping, make-the-game-fun-again style.

Sox general manager Rick Hahn said on The Score on Saturday morning that throwing at hitters is the wrong approach to bat-flipping.

“If you don’t want the guy to showboat or bat-flip, get him out,” Hahn said.

“There’s not room in the current game for potentially risking a player’s health by intentionally throwing an object out.”

Cordero leads Sox pitchers in appearances with 29 and has the highest ERA (5.61) on the staff among pitchers with more than three appearances. By appealing, he won’t serve the suspension until next season and would be eligible for the playoffs.

Bench coach Joe McEwing managed in Renteria’s place.

Eloy ‘progressing’

Left fielder Eloy Jimenez, out for the Cubs series after spraining his right mid foot Thursday, has received treatment and was “better [Saturday],” Renteria said.

“We remain optimistic that after a few days Eloy will be able to rebound and join us,” Renteria added.

The offense has stalled in the last 13 games, averaging 3.1 runs.

“He’s a significant player for us, obviously,” Renteria said. “You look at what he has been able to do [.296/332/.559 and 14 homers in 55 games] and is capable of doing, he’s one of our impact guys.”

Garcia hoping to return

Outfielder/infielder Leury Garcia, sidelined since tearing a left thumb ligament sliding into first base Aug. 10, will work out with the team Sunday and is a possibility for the playoff roster.

“As long as he’s progressing positively, physically speaking, it’s always a possibility,” Renteria said. “Nothing surprises me about Leury. This kid can sit for a month, fall out of bed and hit like he’s playing every single day and do a lot of special things between the lines.”

Garcia, who had surgery, has been working at Schaumburg. He batted .271/.317/.441 with three homers in 16 games.

Game 3 starter possibilities

Hahn mentioned Saturday starter Dane Dunning, Sunday starter Reynaldo Lopez and Cease as possible starters in a potential Game 3 of the wild-card series and hinted at possible piggybacking.

“We might have ability to be a little creative in how we deploy our pitchers,” he said.