Avisail has problem-free return to lineup

July 4th, 2017

OAKLAND -- After five days out of the lineup, was back in the White Sox lineup Tuesday afternoon, going 1-for-4 and playing right field in a 7-6 loss to the A's at the Coliseum.

"Happy, happy to be back," Garcia said.

As he was icing his knee after the game, Garcia said, "I can do anything that I need to do in the field, but I need to get ice and need to get treatment every day until I get way better. I'm OK."

In the bottom of the first, Garcia got involved right away as A's leadoff hitter Matt Joyce hit a routine fly ball to right, which Garcia caught with ease. He said he laughed about getting tested right away, adding, "Baseball is like that sometimes."

Then, leading off the top of the second, Garcia swung at the first pitch A's starter Daniel Gossett threw and roped a single to center. His presence back in the lineup was a welcome sight for manager Rick Renteria.

"It was nice to see him back out there. [It's nice] anytime you lose one of your big guys and you finally get him back out there," Renteria said. "To see him back out there was good. We'll see how he recovers, we'll monitor that and see how he's doing tomorrow."

The lone White Sox player named to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, Garcia had been out since June 29 with left knee soreness. While Garcia stressed the importance of being careful with his knee on Monday, Renteria was encouraged by his progress before the White Sox 7-2 win over the A's.

"We need to make sure we check off all the boxes and make sure he's good to go," Renteria said. "He took some fly balls and some work out in the outfield yesterday, and he also ran the bases with spikes on, which is what we wanted to see him do."

Garcia earned the American League All-Star spot by hitting .317 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs, nearly matching his full-season totals in homers and RBIs from the last two years. First baseman and fellow middle-of-the-order hitter says he's seen Garcia be stronger mentally this season.

"The mental part is very important, especially in this game," Abreu said. "If you are strong enough, you're going to have success. It's a very tough sport. He has been that way this year, and we as a White Sox organization and as teammates love that because we all know what he is capable of. This year, he has finally shown that."

Worth noting

• Infielder (back spasms) went 1-for-3 as the designated hitter for Triple-A Charlotte in the first game of a rehab assignment Monday night. He's been out since May 27.

• Right-handed starter (right shoulder A/C joint inflammation) is expected to begin a rehab assignment in the coming days after being placed on the DL June 15.

• Right-handed reliever Jake Petricka (right elbow strain), out since June 29, played light catch before Tuesday's game, his first attempt at throwing since hitting the DL.