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White Sox lose to Twins, lose catcher Yasmani Grandal with strained calf

Yasmani Grandal was helped off the field after getting hurt checking his swing.

Manager Tony La Russa (22) checks on injured catcher Yasmani Grandal during the sixth inning of the White Sox game against the Twins in Minneapolis.
Manager Tony La Russa (22) checks on injured catcher Yasmani Grandal during the sixth inning of the White Sox game against the Twins in Minneapolis.

MINNEAPOLIS — The White Sox lost 8-5 to the last-place Twins, and maybe much worse, lost catcher Yasmani Grandal with a strained left calf Monday.

Grandal had missed the last 2½ games with tightness in his left calf but returned Monday. In the sixth inning, he spun out of the batter’s box after checking his swing. He hobbled away and went down, lying face down on the grass for several moments before getting up and being helped off the field. Grandal did not put any weight on his left foot and was on crutches after the game.

“You saw his reaction,” manager Tony La Russa said. “Everyone is really concerned about him. He was playing outstanding All-Star type baseball. It’s really uncertain what the diagnosis is going to be.”

Catcher Seby Zavala was en route to Minneapolis from Triple-A Charlotte. Going to the IL seemed probable with five games left before the All-Star break. Zavala is a better option than Yermin Mercedes, La Russa said, because Mercedes needs more game-calling experience.

Grandal left the game against the Tigers on Friday after his calf tightened up when he ran down a foul ball near the screen. La Russa wasn’t sure yet if that incident was related to Monday’s incident.

Dylan Cease (7-4, 4.14 ERA) struck out eight but gave up six hits, including a two-run homer to Max Kepler, over 5„ innings and left trailing 6-1 in the sixth.

Jose Abreu hit his team-high 15th homer against lefty Caleb Thielbar in the sixth, and Leury Garcia (single) and Yoan Moncada (triple) each drove in two runs in a four-run seventh cutting the lead to 6-5.

But Moncada (with no outs) went on contact and was thrown out trying to score on a ground ball to third baseman Luis Arraez. The contact play was not on, he said.

“I just didn’t read the ground ball,” he said through translator Billy Russo.

Kepler hit his second homer in the eighth against Ryan Burr, the first run against the right-hander in 12 games, Miguel Sano doubled and Andrelton Simmons’ squeeze bunted Sano home to give the Twins their eighth run.

The first-place Sox are 1-3 on a nine-game road trip. And minus one of their best players, the latest in a rash of injuries this season.

“We all know what he can do,” Cease said. “We’re not going to dwell on what we don’t have. Just focus on what we do have and hope he gets back as soon as possible.’’

Rodon’s road to All-Star Game

Carlos Rodon called the honor of being named an All-Star for the first time “special.”

“I’ve been through a lot,” said the former No. 3 overall draft choice who has bounced back from multiple surgeries to have his best season, by far. “Quite a few people who have helped along the way. I could not have done it without my family’s support, my wife, my teammates.”

This and that

La Russa said outfielder Adam Engel will come off the injured list Tuesday or Wednesday. Third baseman Jake Burger, who popped out as a pinch hitter, seems a likely candidate to be returned to Triple-A Charlotte, where he would play every day.

† Moncada returned to the lineup after missing the Tigers’ series with a bruised right hand.