Eloy Jimenez tested his sprained right foot but was unable to start in Game 1 of the White Sox’ best-of-three wild card series opener against the host Oakland Athletics (2 p.m. CT, ESPN) on Tuesday.
The White Sox will go with Leury Garcia, who hasn’t played since the second week of August and was added to the postseason roster, in left field.
“We put him through the rigors, there’s a little discomfort,” manager Rick Renteria said of Jimenez, who batted .296/.332/.559 with 14 homers and 41 RBI this season. “Hopefully available for a big at-bat.
“We saw a limitation there. So for us it just makes sense, as you’re looking at the big picture, to have him available, potentially, for an at-bat. The mobility would have been an issue.”
With Nomar Mazara sitting this one out, the Sox are starting nine hitters from the right side against left-hander Jesus Luzardo. Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal and Garcia are switch-hitters. The Sox were 14-0 against left-handed starters this season.
Here is the lineup:
Before the game, Game 2 starter Dallas Keuchel, who played on a World Series winner with the Astros, said the Sox appeared calm and focused in the clubhouse Tuesday morning. Twenty one players on the playoff roster have not played in the postseason.
“Ultimately it comes down to pitching,” Keuchel said Tuesday of the postseason. “If we score five runs that will be nice but it usually comes down to pitching and defense. “I think our group is focused and calm, so I think we’re ready to go.”
Here is the Athletics lineup:
La Stella 2B