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Herrera returns to action, but allows winning HR

@scottmerkin
May 8, 2019

CLEVELAND -- White Sox reliever Kelvin Herrera returned to action Wednesday night at Progressive Field after leaving Sunday’s contest against the Red Sox with lower back stiffness. He entered with Francisco Lindor on first and two outs in the ninth and gave up Jose Ramirez’s two-run walk-off home run in

CLEVELAND -- White Sox reliever Kelvin Herrera returned to action Wednesday night at Progressive Field after leaving Sunday’s contest against the Red Sox with lower back stiffness. He entered with Francisco Lindor on first and two outs in the ninth and gave up Jose Ramirez’s two-run walk-off home run in a 5-3 loss to the Indians.

Herrera had thrown about 15 pitches in the bullpen during the ninth inning on Tuesday to get a read on how he felt. White Sox manager Rick Renteria mentioned Herrera has a routine he stuck with in the past concerning his back, but he kind of got away from it when he was feeling good.

“I've been having lower back tightness a long time,” Herrera said. “I just need to treat it and stay on top of it every day. Nothing bad.

“Since I got my surgery, I've been trying to build my strength with my left foot. It causes me to walk funny and gets my back tighter than normal. I just need to stay on top of it.”

Herrera’s 2018 season came to a premature close when he had surgery in early September to repair a torn ligament in his left foot. But the veteran already has thrown in 17 of the team’s first 34 games as the primary setup man for closer Alex Colome.

“It's good. I'm used to pitching a lot,” Herrera said. “I like it. It's no problem.”

White Sox visit the gridiron

Outfielder Nicky Delmonico was part of a White Sox group that visited the Cleveland Browns’ rookie minicamp Wednesday morning at their facility in Berea, Ohio, 25 minutes away from where the White Sox were staying. Aaron Bummer, Dylan Covey, Lucas Giolito and James McCann were the other players to join in the visit.

Delmonico posted pictures to his Instagram with Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield and tailback Nick Chubb, who played at Georgia, Delmonico’s favorite team.

Although he laughed at the idea of ever making it to the NFL himself, Delmonico was a quarterback up until he gave up football prior to high school. So was he any good?

“I was a stud,” said Delmonico with a broad smile. “Come on.

“We went to Seattle’s spring complex [previously]. We’ve been to the Minnesota Gophers complex. Any chance like that, it’s pretty cool. I’m a fan of all athletes. It’s cool to see those guys work and watch other athletes.”

Renteria talks lineup construction

Tim Anderson is on pace for 28 home runs, 95 RBIs, 100 runs scored and 57 stolen bases. But Renteria had the shortstop hitting seventh again on Wednesday, one of six spots in the order Anderson has been placed this year.

“When we started the season, that’s where we had him and he was pretty comfortable in that slot,” Renteria said. “We’ve moved him up facing lefties. Right now, I want him to stay there and just continue to do what he’s been doing, trying not to do too much, stay within himself.

“He has the ability to do it from the top or the bottom. It really doesn’t matter. For him, I think as long as we continue to have him in the lineup period, it’s a good thing.”

Renteria had Welington Castillo at catcher despite McCann hitting .359 for the season and .422 with nine RBIs over his last 11 games. But Renteria pointed to trying to keep McCann fresh with him already catching three starters.

“We’ll do what we can to put them both in as good a position as possible,” Renteria said. “I have DHed them in the past, but we have [Yonder] Alonso here and we have the right-handed matchups we’re going to try and take advantage of with the guys we have.”

He said it

“Nasty. Nasty. We know he’s going to come in and shut the door for us. Just unreal stuff. Big-time competitor. Cool under pressure. He’s exactly what you want in a closer.” -- Giolito on Colome

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.