White Sox get core group together for first time this season

“That was how it was supposed to be since spring training,” Jose Abreu said Thursday. “Today is the day.”

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Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson.

Jose Abreu (79) and Tim Anderson of the White Sox celebrate a win against the Guardians at Progressive Field on July 13, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Getty Images)

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Thursday was only the 37th time Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, Yasmani Grandal and Luis Robert were in the same lineup since 2020.

It says a lot about the White Sox’ injury woes this season and last. That they were together, finally, with 58 games left on the schedule and two games to make up to catch the American League Central-leading Twins says something worth feeling good about in a season light on feel-good moments.

“That was how it was supposed to be since spring training,” Abreu said. “Today is the day. We’re all together. We’re united.”

The Sox (53-52 going into the game) fell to 25-12 with that group in the lineup after a 3-2 loss to the Rangers. They opened a four-game series against the Rangers having won four of their last five games and 12 of 18 and needing to win series. Repeatedly. But with the group intact, they managed just five hits.

“I know what the standings are; our fans know what the standings are,” manager Tony La Russa said before the game. “But to be in contention, you have to be a winning club. And then you’ve got to win a lot. Plus-2 is a nice place to get to because we’ve been trying to get there. Let’s get to 10 and then 15. You know what I mean. It’s like you’re on a trip, and you stop somewhere to get gas or lunch. You’re not at the destination.”

Abreu, entering a month that historically has been the best of his career, was batting .375/.423/.574 with five home runs, 12 doubles and 23 RBI in his last 35 games. He has played like a leader and conducted himself like one, as well — he was selected as the Sox’ winner of the 2022 Heart & Hustle Award.

He also spoke like a leader Thursday.

“Our mindset is let’s give it all to these [58] games to see what happens,” he said. “Let’s work hard together. We’ll see at the end.

“We’re a good team. We know that. Right now, our goal has to be trying to stay healthy. If we stay healthy and we stay on the field, we know we’re going to be good.”

Robert in lineup

Robert, playing for the first time since

July 15, described his ordeal with light-headedness and blurred vision as “weird.” The team attributed it to a virus and possible vitamin deficiencies.

Robert, who went 1-for-3 with two walks as the designated hitter against the Rangers, said he has been symptom-free for three days. He was reinstated from the injured list Tuesday but did not play Tuesday or Wednesday. The plan for Robert is to play center field Friday, rest Saturday and play center again Sunday.

“Ever since July 15, it was a few things with my vision, just a bunch of stuff,” Robert said.

“Now I’m better. I’m good. We’ll see how it goes [Friday] when I’m in center field. That will be the challenge.”

Batting second, Robert lined a single to center field against Rangers left-hander Cole Ragans, who was making his major-league debut.

Lopez closer to return

Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez threw a bullpen session Wednesday in Chicago and said he’ll pitch in a simulated game this weekend in Texas. Lopez, on the injured list with a strained lower back, described his issue as stiffness.

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