White Sox’ Liam Hendriks faces special challenges pitching in Colorado’s thin air

Closer takes medication to combat effects of high altitude.

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White Sox closer Liam Hendriks isn’t fond of pitching in high altitude.

White Sox closer Liam Hendriks isn’t fond of pitching in high altitude.

David Zalubowski/AP

DENVER — Coors Field brings all sorts of challenges to visiting teams, including the effects of the altitude on the baseball and the players’ bodies. Just ask White Sox closer Liam Hendriks.

‘‘I’m a mess when I get into altitude,’’ Hendriks told the Sun-Times before the Sox’ 2-1 victory over the Rockies Tuesday night.

Hendriks is taking medication for this two-game series, he said, to combat reactions to thin air.

‘‘If I don’t take the medication, I throw up after every single time I do anything physical,’’ he said. ‘‘And if I do take it, I lose feeling in my left hand and my feet, among the dizziness and that sort of stuff.’’

There wasn’t too much reason to worry, though. Hendriks had pitched at Coors twice before without incident, going 123 innings to notch a save for the Athletics in 2020 and earning the save in the 2021 All-Star Game. He allowed a leadoff homer to Ryan McMahon in the ninth, then won a tough at-bat with Charlie Blackmon to end the game with the tying run on base.

But Hendriks, who stayed in the hotel and rested during the Sox’ day off Monday, was fighting the same old issue but never considered not going to work.

“It’s something you deal with,” Hendriks said after the game. “You show up and do your job to the best of your abilities.”

Hendriks can’t forget a game in 2014. Pitching for Triple-A Omaha against Colorado Springs, he threw seven innings and threw up after every one, he said.

‘‘It was bad for me but worse for the rest of the team because they couldn’t use the bathroom,’’ he said.

‘‘It is what it is. You’re always going to play in circumstances that aren’t perfect. It’s a matter of showing the character and dealing with it.’’

Robert not likely to return Friday

Center fielder Luis Robert, who is on the injured list with light-headedness and blurred vision, is eligible to be activated Friday, but that seems unlikely. Robert isn’t completely over his symptoms yet.

‘‘He seems like he’s improving every day, except he’s still getting tested,’’ manager Tony La Russa said Tuesday. ‘‘There has been improvement and he has been doing more baseball stuff, but other than that . . . 

‘‘The IL date is Friday, but he hasn’t played much, so first things first. When is he cleared to really compete and then what’s the smart thing to do? Hope for the best.’’

This and that

Right-hander Dylan Cease on Sunday turned in his 11th consecutive start in which he allowed one earned run or fewer, becoming the third starter in the modern era to accomplish the feat, according to Stathead. The Mets’ Jacob deGrom did it last season, and Cardinals great Bob Gibson did it in 1968.

• Right-hander Lucas Giolito, coming off his shortest outing of the season (three innings, six runs) against the Guardians, will make his first career start at Coors Field on Wednesday. He and pitching coach Ethan Katz continue to work on ironing out some mechanical issues.

‘‘He’s working extremely hard to get back on track,’’ Katz said. ‘‘We feel good about where he’s at and where’s going.’’

• Slugger Jose Abreu’s 27-game on-base streak ended Tuesday, two shy of his career best set in 2016. before

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