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Wild month for Hanson peaks with first HR

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- To say Alen Hanson's June has been a whirlwind would be an understatement.

The 24-year-old utility infielder was designated for assignment on June 2 by the Pirates, the organization he'd been with since he was 17 years old. A former top prospect, Hanson found himself on waivers, before Chicago claimed him on June 9 to fill out its infield. Wednesday night, he added another career milestone after being waived -- his first career home run.

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CHICAGO -- To say Alen Hanson's June has been a whirlwind would be an understatement.

The 24-year-old utility infielder was designated for assignment on June 2 by the Pirates, the organization he'd been with since he was 17 years old. A former top prospect, Hanson found himself on waivers, before Chicago claimed him on June 9 to fill out its infield. Wednesday night, he added another career milestone after being waived -- his first career home run.

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Pinch-hitting in the bottom of the ninth with Chicago trailing 10-5 to Baltimore, Hanson took the second pitch he saw from Mychal Givens deep to straightaway center. The ball, which traveled a Statcast-projected 405 feet, made its way back to Hanson after the game.

Soon, he says, the ball will go to his mother. It was a moment he said was years in the making.

"I was very happy and I thank God for that moment," Hanson said. "That was just part of my work. I've been working so hard through my whole career every day. Try to do my best. I know that when you work hard good things are going to happen. That homer last night was a result of that, all the hard work that I've put in my career."

Hanson was so new to the White Sox that his own teammates -- let alone his own manager -- didn't realize it was his first career blast until after the game.

"Was that his first career home run?" White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "Wow. Goodness. Thank you for telling me that. I didn't know that. In the big leagues? Yeah. He went in there, he looked very calm at the plate. Took a couple pitches -- or one pitch -- and then got a pitch to hit and obviously hit it out of the ballpark. All the guys were excited for him, yes."

Despite the confusion behind the accomplishment, Hanson said he's been pleased with the quick transition to his new club. For one, he said, he appreciates the lack of a language barrier with Renteria.

"For me it has been advantageous to speak the same language that I do because we can communicate directly," Hanson said. "That for me in the past has been a challenge because I didn't have the opportunity to play for a manager who spoke the same language as me and the communication was a little difficult there. But with Ricky, since the first moment that I came here, we spoke, and we are on the same page."

Worth noting

• The White Sox activated reliever Michael Ynoa from the 10-day DL on Thursday, taking over the spot of the optioned Juan Minaya. Ynoa didn't require a rehab assignment for his right hip flexor strain, but said he felt good over the course of three bullpen sessions and was able to return sooner than he anticipated. Minaya was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte following Wednesday's 10-6 loss to Baltimore.

• Renteria said outfielder Leury Garcia, who hasn't played since injuring his left hand sliding into second base in Sunday's loss in Cleveland, is close to a possible return and won't need a DL stint. Renteria said Garcia, who was out of the starting lineup on Thursday for the fourth consecutive game, will be available off the bench.

Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Chicago White Sox, Alen Hanson