White Sox OF Oscar Colas’ first game back on bases far from perfect

Colas was thrown out stealing and lost track of the outs during the White Sox’ loss to the Blue Jays on Tuesday.

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The White Sox’ Oscar Colas gets thrown out stealing on Tuesday.

The White Sox’ Oscar Colas gets thrown out stealing on Tuesday.

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

On his first day back from the minor leagues Tuesday, Oscar Colas went 1-for-4 with a bunt single in the White Sox’ 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays, an uneventful return for the outfielder who had seven homers in his previous seven games at Triple-A Charlotte.

Colas has had better days on the bases. He was thrown out attempting to steal and also lost track of how many outs there were when he was on first base with two away in the fifth inning. On Zach Remillard’s routine fly, instead of sprinting toward third base, Colas held up.

“He was the second hitter in that inning, and there was a ground ball that led off that inning that he forgot about,” manager Pedro Grifol said before the Sox’ scheduled game with the Jays was rained out Wednesday night.

The teams will play a straight doubleheader starting at 4:10 p.m. Thursday, and Colas will be back in right field, where he figures to play regularly.

Given the job as the every-day right fielder coming out of spring training despite having played only seven games at Triple-A, Colas showed that he wasn’t quite ready for an every-day job. He batted .211, and the Sox, who started 7-21, couldn’t afford to let him learn on the job, so Colas was sent back to Charlotte.

General manager Rick Hahn lauded Colas’ pregame prep and work ethic at Charlotte.

“His pregame prep, his preparing for the pitchers, really just having a purposeful workday that has put him in a better position to succeed offensively and defensively has been really what has stood out the most,” Hahn said.

The mental miscue didn’t cost the Sox. But Grifol found it surprising.

“It actually does because we’ve addressed those things,” Grifol said. “We addressed it [Tuesday] night a few times. I’m not going to see that ever happen again, even though it might.”

Kopech will be back

Hahn reassured that Michael Kopech, who went on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation, will return to the rotation after the All-Star break.

“The most important part of this is Michael is doing well,” Hahn said.

The Sox have rejiggered their rotation around All-Star breaks in the past to give extended rests to starters in need, especially those “entering potentially new inning workloads in the year,” Hahn said.

“That was the plan for Michael,” Hahn said. “Unfortunately after the start in Anaheim [on June 27], it was pretty clear the shoulder fatigue he was feeling was affecting his delivery and the command that night. We made the decision to accelerate that extra rest up a couple of weeks.”

This and that

Sox pitchers have a 3.61 ERA in 47 games since May 13, the fourth-best mark in the majors.

The Sox were 24-23 during that span, compared to 13-27 with a 5.66 ERA in their first 40 games.

† The Sox lead the majors with an average of 9.69 strikeouts per nine innings, which would be the second-highest mark in franchise history behind the 2021 club’s 10.18.

† Shortstop Tim Anderson is 7-for-22 (.318) with five runs scored in his last five games after ending a career-worst 0-for-24 slump.

† Left fielder Andrew Benintendi is batting .344/.386/.453 with seven doubles, five walks, six RBI and seven runs scored in 16 games since moving into Anderson’s customary leadoff spot June 16 in Seattle.

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