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Billy Hamilton third White Sox player to land on IL with hamstring injury

Outfielder Nick Williams was called up and inserted into the starting lineup for the home opener.

The White Sox placed outfielder Billy Hamilton on the 10-day injured list.
The White Sox placed outfielder Billy Hamilton on the 10-day injured list.
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Outfielder Billy Hamilton landed on the 10-day injured list Thursday, becoming the third White Sox player to go on the IL with a strained hamstring a week into the season.

Hamilton, who was signed during spring training and started in left field Wednesday against the Mariners, left in the sixth inning of that game after straining his hamstring while stealing third base.

Shortstop Tim Anderson went on the IL with a strained hamstring Wednesday, and outfielder Adam Engel injured his hamstring during spring training and is on the IL, too.

With Hamilton, Engel and Eloy Jimenez (torn pectoral muscle) sidelined, the Sox’ outfield core is thinning rapidly. They called up Nick Williams from their alternate site in Schaumburg and moved left-hander Jace Fry to the 60-day IL.

Leury Garcia has had some leg tightness in the last couple of days, keeping him out of the lineup for the damp, chilly home opener. That opened a door for Williams to be in the lineup against the Royals.

Williams signed a minor-league deal with the Sox in January. He hit .254/.313/.420 in 903 plate appearances with the Phillies in 2017-19. He batted .300/.364/.475 with a home run in spring training.

Where’s Vaughn?

Rookie Andrew Vaughn, a first baseman by trade, was thrust into left-field duty after Jimenez got hurt during spring training. He has started four games in left and is expected to play there Saturday, manager Tony La Russa said.

When Vaughn made the big-league club out of spring training, the expectation was that he would be the everyday designated hitter.

‘‘Right now, he’s not in the core where it’s Tim, [Jose] Abreu, [Yoan] Moncada, [Yasmani] Grandal, Adam [Eaton], guys like that,’’ La Russa said. ‘‘But he’s playing enough.’’

Vaughn was 2-for-13 with three walks entering the game Thursday.

‘‘There were a couple of games there where I thought he was pressing and giving him a day off would be helpful,’’ La Russa said. ‘‘But I really think in the last couple [or] three games, his at-bats have more looked like himself.’’

Anderson ‘at 85 percent’

Anderson is eligible to be activated next Thursday, and the Sox are working under that projection, general manager Rick Hahn said. But he emphasized Anderson won’t be rushed back.

‘‘There are still milestones to pass,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘He hasn’t been out on the field taking ground balls just yet. An injury like his, you want to err on the side of caution.’’

Thumbs up for accountability

A day after La Russa said he did a ‘‘lousy’’ job managing the bullpen in an 8-4 loss to the Mariners, Hahn said he wasn’t surprised to see him own up to it.

‘‘Tony’s probably harder on Tony than anyone is in terms of being critical of his decision-making,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘Perhaps he’s putting a little too much at his own doorstep for yesterday’s result. But it’s not a surprise, given what I’ve come to know of him, that he’s standing up for what he believes in and very critical of his own performance.’’

Cheers and jeers

Abreu received his 2020 American League Most Valuable Player award from chairman Jerry Reinsdorf during pregame ceremonies.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot were included in the pregame festivities and were booed loudly.