Questions rise as White Sox hunt for series title with Tigers

The Chicago White Sox were victorious on Saturday, but had to rearrange their starting lineup during the weekend’s series in Detroit.

Right-hander Michael Kopech was scheduled to start the series finale in Chicago on Sunday afternoon. Instead, he was placed on the 15-day injured list on Saturday due to inflammation in his right shoulder.

“Clearly there’s inflammation there,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told MLB.com. We gave him some meds and obviously he will be resting early in this IL stay and once he has 15 days he can be back on the active roster.”

In his place, Johnny Cueto could start if he recovers in time from a non-COVID-related illness.

Cueto (7-8, 3.09 ERA) went scoreless in eight innings on July 9 against the Tigers. The 36-year-old right-hander Cueto went 2-2 with his 2.34 ERA in his six games against Detroit.

However, Cueto struggled in the final game, allowing 7 runs (5 earned) and 8 hits in 4 2/3 innings against Oakland.

If he can’t go, acting manager Miguel Cairo will combine his bullpen to get the game through.

“We have to carry on,” Cairo said.

Chicago (75-71) won 4-2 in 11 innings on Saturday. Closer Liam Hendricks took the win after pitching a scoreless 10th inning.

The White Sox can’t afford to lose any more if they want to take Cleveland and claim the American League Central title. The No. 2 White Sox will start his three-game series against the Visitor Guardians on Tuesday.

“Until we are eliminated, it is never too late,” Hendricks said.

Drew Hutchison (2-8, 4.24 ERA) will be drafted by the Tigers on Sunday. He has appeared in his three games this season against the Whites against the Sox, most recently on July 10 when he had two runs and five hits in six innings.

In his last start, Hutchison allowed 4 runs and 9 hits in 5 1/3 innings Tuesday against Houston. Long balls have been a problem in his last four trips.He has hit six homers in that period, including two against the Astros.

“It’s all about running the pitch,” Hutchison said. “He did a good job filling the zone and throwing strikes. No walks are usually a good outing for me. But when he gives up two home runs, it’s canceled out.”

8 games in total against the White Sox (5 starts), 2 wins, 2 losses, ERA of 4.00.

Detroit (55-90) has some minor issues in the infield going into Sunday’s game.

Harold Castro suffered a wrist injury while trying to tag team in the 11th inning on Saturday.

Shortstop Javier Baez missed the game because of a sore right knee.

After hitting a pinch hitter single in the bottom of the 11th inning, Baez went out as a pinch runner. He won’t be out on the field, but could be in the lineup on Sunday.

“We’re planning to give him a downhill tomorrow, but if the pain hits, we’ll have him sit again,” manager AJ Hinch said.

–Field level media

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