CHICAGO -- Dylan Covey really wanted Saturday afternoon's start against the A's at Guaranteed Rate Field.The White Sox right-hander spent four Minor League seasons with Oakland, from 2013-16, after being selected by the A's in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Daniel Mengden, Covey's teammate and good friend
CHICAGO -- Dylan Covey really wanted Saturday afternoon's start against the A's at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The White Sox right-hander spent four Minor League seasons with Oakland, from 2013-16, after being selected by the A's in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Daniel Mengden, Covey's teammate and good friend in the Oakland system, happened to be on the mound for the A's.
Neither starter factored into Oakland's 7-6 victory. Both starters actually left the game with injuries, as Mengden departed after two innings with a right foot sprain and Covey was removed in the fifth with what he described as right groin soreness.
"We were hoping that our starts would line up, and they happened to," Covey said. "And we both go down with something or another. I wanted it real bad, but it is how it is."
Covey joined the White Sox via the Rule 5 Draft in December 2016. He endured a miserable 2017 campaign, but he had been the team's most consistent starter in '18. He had a 5-2 lead after finishing the top of the fourth when he felt something as he walked off the mound.
"I threw a pitch, didn't feel anything and was kind of just jogging off the mound. Then it was like, 'It feels a little tight,'" Covey said. "Sat down and came back out for my warmups in the fifth. I really noticed it. I don't know if any of you saw my warmups in the fifth, but they were, like, all in the dirt. I was bracing for the feeling.
"It was just me overcompensating and trying not to have it be more serious. It was a good decision to take me out of there."
Before the White Sox could remove Covey, he walked Matt Joyce and then went 2-1 on Jonathan Lucroy. Manager Rick Renteria and head athletic trainer Herm Schneider came to the mound to check on him, and Chris Volstad took over. The A's scored three runs in the frame, and they tied the contest on Jed Lowrie's two-run double.
"From what I understand, when I went out there, he just felt he was tugging at his hip flexor, groin, that area," Renteria said. "He said he felt it when he dragged. It made no sense to leave him out there, because you can irritate that even more. If it's mild, better for us, and it should be quick. But tomorrow will be the day when we know more."
"My drag leg was not really painful, but nagging me," Covey said. "I was bracing every pitch for something. It was affecting the quality of my pitches."
Oakland grabbed the lead with two outs in the eighth when Stephen Piscotty's routine fly ball to right off of Juan Minaya was lost by Avisail Garcia for a double. Nick Martini followed with his first Major League hit, a pinch-hit single to center, scoring Piscotty.
"He lost it. He didn't see it," Renteria said. "Everybody was trying to communicate and point it out. Once he recognized where he was at, he kind of spun out a little bit and wasn't able to recover. He just lost it in the sky."
Tim Anderson, celebrating his 25th birthday, launched a three-run homer as part of a five-run first. Jose Abreu and Kevan Smith also drove in runs in the first, but that rally was overshadowed by Covey's exit after 4-plus innings.
"Tomorrow will be the test to see how it feels and how I bounce back," said Covey, when asked about missing his next start.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Physical error, mental error: Oakland had the makings of a rally in the third when Dustin Fowler singled and Marcus Semien reached on an error by Anderson on a forceout attempt at second. The throw from Yoan Moncada was never hauled in by Anderson, retrieved instead by third baseman Yolmer Sanchez. But for some reason, Fowler left the base right after the play finished, with Sanchez quickly applying the tag for the second out. The A's would not score.
Refusing help: Oakland committed two errors in the ninth, with closer Blake Treinen dropping a flip to first on Moncada's routine grounder and Semien misplaying Abreu's grounder on a potential game-ending double play. But with runners on first and second and one out, Matt Davidson hit into the game-ending double play started by Semien.
HE SAID IT
"I'm in no pain. It almost feels like a light pulled muscle or something. It just happened to be in a bad area, I guess, because I could feel it every single pitch."-- Covey, on his groin injury
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
It took only two pitches from Mengden to Moncada for Renteria to challenge if his leadoff man had been hit by a pitch after home-plate umpire Ryan Blakney ruled it a foul ball. The video review overturned the call, ruling Moncada had been hit by a pitch, thus starting a five-run first.
Carlos Rodon is scheduled to make his fourth start of the season, second at home and fourth career against Oakland in Sunday afternoon's series finale with a first pitch of 1:10 p.m. CT at Guaranteed Rate Field. Paul Blackburn will be on the mound for the A's. Rodon makes his 18th career start against American League West opponents, and he is 6-3 with a 3.14 ERA in his career against them.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.