Ren­te­ria: Sox’ opener will be like Game 103

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN, STAFF RE­PORTER dvan­schouwen@sun­times.com @CST_­sox­van

The White Sox will open their reg­u­lar sea­son against the Twins at Guar­an­teed Rate Field on July 24, a Fri­day night, and end with three games against the Cubs at home on Sept. 25-27.

Those are the fea­tured book­ends around the Sox’ slate in the ab­bre­vi­ated 60-game MLB sched­ules an­nounced Mon­day. In be­tween, the Sox are sched­uled to play in the “Field of Dreams” game against the Car­di­nals on Aug. 13 in Dy­ersville, Iowa, and three games against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

They’ll play on the road at Cleve­land, Kansas City and Mil­wau­kee af­ter host­ing the Twins that first weekend, and like every­one else in the short sea­son, they’ll be aim­ing for a fast start.

“I’m go­ing to as­sume we’ve al­ready played 102 games and we’re in first place and we’re try­ing to hold on to that slot,” man­ager Rick

Ren­te­ria said of his ap­proach to the sched­ule. “We’re go­ing to pro­ceed that way — ob­vi­ously with­out putting any­body in harm’s way. But it is im­por­tant for a club to get off to a good start be­cause the sched­ule is wan­ing. It’s short.”

Each team will play 40 games against op­po­nents in its own di­vi­sion, along with 20 in­ter­league games against teams from the same geo­graph­i­cal di­vi­sion in the other league. The home and away games are un­bal­anced, with the Sox host­ing the Twins in seven of their 10 matchups. Seven of 10 games against the In­di­ans are in Cleve­land, seven of 10 against the Tigers are at home, and seven of 10 against the Roy­als are in Kansas City. How­ever, with fans not ex­pected to at­tend games be­cause of the coro­n­avirus, home-field ad­van­tage might be neg­li­gi­ble.

The Sox play three ex­hi­bi­tion night games be­fore the sea­son begins: July 19 at the Cubs, July 20 against the Cubs at home and July 22 against the Brew­ers at home.

Ren­te­ria ac­knowl­edged that third base­man Yoan Mon­cada was not at Guar­an­teed Rate Field with other Sox reg­u­lars Mon­day, the fourth day of sum­mer camp. Mon­cada has not par­tic­i­pated in any work­outs, which be­gan Fri­day, a source said.

The Sox an­nounced Sun­day that two of their play­ers had tested pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus but didn’t name them. Both are asymp­to­matic, in iso­la­tion in Chicago and have re­quested pri­vacy, the team said.

Ren­te­ria de­clined to an­swer ques­tions about Mon­cada’s ab­sence.

“I’m just hold­ing him out right now,” he said.

Mon­cada, who lives in Mi­ami in the off­sea­son, was the only reg­u­lar po­si­tion player not on the field. First base­man Jose Abreu and slug­ger Ed­win En­car­na­cion didn’t ap­pear un­til Sun­day while the team awaited re­sults of their in­take tests.

Play­ers who test pos­i­tive can re­turn to ac­tiv­i­ties once they have had con­sec­u­tive neg­a­tive tests and passed ap­pro­pri­ate coro­n­avirus pro­to­cols.

This and that

Short­stop Tim An­der­son tried tak­ing bat­ting prac­tice with a mask on but re­moved it be­cause it was too un­com­fort­able.

† Left-han­der Gio Gon­za­lez, a free agent pegged for the start­ing ro­ta­tion who did not pitch in spring train­ing as he worked back from a sore shoul­der, is slated to pitch two in­nings in a sim game Tues­day.

† The Sox’ first in­trasquad game is still slated for Thurs­day.

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