A blister developed on the ring finger of Jose Berrios’ pitching hand during his Saturday start, prompting the Minnesota Twins right-hander to exit in the eighth inning.
Asked whether the blister might keep him from taking his next turn in the rotation, Berrios didn’t blink.
“No, not really,” he said. “I’m good.”
The American League Central Division-leading Twins, winners of four of their past six games, feel similarly confident as they open a three-game road series against the Chicago White Sox on Friday with Berrios (8-3, 2.84 ERA) on the mound.
That remains the case even as the team encounters fatigue — the Twins lost in 18 innings to the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday in Minneapolis — and injuries, notably the possible loss of slugging outfielder Eddie Rosario, who sprained his left ankle Wednesday.
“Well, I think our guys are definitely battling through a period of time where we’re not at full strength health-wise,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We might not even be close to full strength, but our guys haven’t let it affect them in any way, and our guys haven’t made any excuses, either.”
Berrios enters with impressive career stats against the White Sox: 8-1 with a 2.05 ERA in 10 starts. He beat them on May 24 when he allowed four runs (one earned) on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.
White Sox catcher James McCann, a finalist in the American League All-Star balloting at his position, boasts the most career success against Berrios among Chicago lineup regulars, hitting .455 (5-for-11) with two home runs and seven RBIs.
Jose Abreu, Leury Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez also have homered against Berrios, but no member of that quartet is batting better than .222 against him.
Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson is 4-for-24 (.167) against Berrios, but he won’t get the opportunity to improve on those numbers Friday. The White Sox expect Anderson to miss extended time after he sustained a high ankle sprain during a Tuesday road loss to the Boston Red Sox.
Manager Rick Renteria said the club would provide an update Friday. Anderson, meanwhile, remained optimistic.
“It’s just part of the story, just have to keep back working,” Anderson said. “It’s part of my life, man. You go through things and you learn things. Just another thing I have to go through and I’ll be back.”
The left side of the infield absorbed another potential blow when third baseman Yoan Moncada left Chicago’s 8-7 victory at Boston on Wednesday due to right knee soreness. Moncada was hit on the knee by a Chris Sale slider in the first inning. He remained in the game temporarily, exiting after running the bases on an Abreu double.
The White Sox listed Moncada as day-to-day.
“It hit him on the top of the kneecap. More muscle than anything,” Renteria said. “He should be fine, probably just a pretty good bruise.”
Chicago is expected to promote a starting pitcher from Triple-A Charlotte for Friday’s game. A vacancy in the rotation opened after the club designated veteran right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne for assignment on Monday. Despaigne was 0-2 with a 9.45 ERA in three starts covering 13 1/3 innings.
Friday’s contest kicks off a nine-game homestand for Chicago leading into the All-Star break.
The Twins earned a three-game sweep of the White Sox at Target Field in the clubs’ only other meeting this season. Minnesota outscored Chicago 26-5 from May 24-26, winning each game by seven runs. The teams are set to play 13 times after the All-Star break.
–Field Level Media
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