Stiff backs force Alexei Ramirez, Scott Carroll into early exits
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter July 12, 2014 10:30PM
Alexei Ramirez winces as he departs the game with a back injury that might cause the All-Star shortstop to sit out on Sunday. | AP
Updated: July 13, 2014 2:27AM
CLEVELAND — White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez and starting pitcher Scott Carroll left Saturday’s game against the Indians with stiff backs. Neither issue appears to be serious.
Ramirez, who doesn’t believe it will affect his status for his first All-Star Game on Tuesday, said he felt a “spasm” in the clubhouse before the game. He appeared slightly shaken up after diving for a ball on Jason Kipnis’ hit-and-run single in the third and might have aggravated it on a swing leading off the top of the fourth.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a major thing,’’ said Ramirez, who nonetheless might miss his first game Sunday.
Carroll’s gem cut short
Carroll, breezing through five scoreless innings, allowed two hits and one walk while striking out three and extended his scoreless-innings streak to 11 2/3. Blaming dehydration, he said his hamstrings were tightening, and then his lower back followed.
“I’ll be ready to go after the All-Star break,” he said.
Rienzo optioned to Charlotte
Right-hander Andre Rienzo, who has been used sparingly in the bullpen after he was demoted from the starting rotation, was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte after the game.
The Sox have one game left before the All-Star break, and with Adam Eaton and Ramirez hurting, they’ll call up a position player. Middle infielder Carlos Sanchez was held out of Charlotte’s game Saturday and, while not announced yet by the Sox, indications were he would join the club in Cleveland on Saturday night.
Center fielder Eaton (right ankle, left wrist) didn’t play and probably won’t Sunday.
Rienzo was 4-5 with a 5.87 ERA in 14 games (11 starts).
Abreu rips 29th homer
Jose Abreu homered near the right-field foul pole, a two-run shot against Zach McAllister that put him in the major-league lead and hiked his RBI total to 73.
Say this for Abreu: While he continues to have a great individual portfolio to bring to the All-Star Game, he plays to win.
“We’re thankful we made the All-Star Game and we get to go there,’’ he said. “But we have one thing to finish up, and that’s the game [Sunday]. We have to go there on a winning note.’’
Manager Robin Ventura said that Jose Quintana likely will start the first game after the All-Star break Friday against the Royals at U.S. Cellular Field and that he will use the break to space out lefties Chris Sale, Quintana and John Danks — his three best starters — in the rotation. “We’ll know more [Sunday],’’ Ventura said.
With full rest, Sale could start the All-Star Game, but Felix Hernandez — whom Sale endorsed — is a better possibility.
Ventura watched as Matt Lindstrom, who hopes to return by early August after having surgery on his left ankle, threw 30 pitches in the bullpen.
“Throwing, he looked great,’’ Ventura said. “He’s still hobbling around somewhat. He still doesn’t look totally stable on his ankle as far as running around and fielding and comebackers like that. But throwing, he looks fine [and the ball] looks good coming out of his hand.’’
Lindstrom threw all four of his pitches.
“I threw a lot of strikes, which was good,’’ Lindstrom said.