Luis Robert looked to jumpstart the Chicago White Sox offense in the sixth inning of a scoreless game Friday against the Detroit Tigers, attempting to steal second base.
Robert slid headfirst but missed the bag when he made contact with the left leg of second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who was trying to make a tag.
Robert writhed and fell on his back in pain. After being checked out by training staff, he came out with a sprained left wrist.
X-rays came back negative, the Red Sox said Friday. Robert’s condition was maintained from day to day, manager Tony La Russa said before Saturday’s game against the Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field.
“He said it felt tight, some pain,” La Russa said.
AJ Pollock moved to center field with Robert out of Saturday’s starting lineup.
It was another juggling day for the Red Sox, who have dealt with injuries this season.
Leury Garcia returned to shortstop after missing the previous three games with hip and back discomfort. Garcia replaces Tim Anderson, who went on the disabled list Tuesday with a torn sagittal band on the middle finger of his left hand. Anderson will probably miss about six weeks.
“We had a lot of practice for two years (dealing with injuries), and it’s a collective thing,” La Russa said. “The players know that it is part of the game. Games still count. You focus on what you have, not what you lack. “We respect the fact that the (injured) guys wish we had them.”
“But the games still count, so the players, the staff, you compete with what you have. This sport is big enough. You have 13 pitchers and 13 other players. You can deal with injuries if your mind is right and our minds are right.”
The Sox found a way Friday, with Andrew Vaughn’s two-out, two-run single in the seventh serving as the entire offense. in a 2-0 victory.
While he didn’t consider the decision, starter Michael Kopech had a night to remember. The Sox right-hander had a career-high 11 strikeouts in six hitless innings.
“He always has the talent and the stuff,” La Russa said Friday after the game. “He is a pitcher. He located, shot breaking balls in different counts. He had a good breaking ball. He moved his fastball and had life. Right there at the end, he had a good command of the fastball from him to go along with the other things he was throwing.”
Kopech said he was “dragging quite a bit” between his last two starts. He had a shorter lateral session before Friday’s start.
“It’s just been communication and we continue to do that and I think we’re in a good place,” Kopech said.
Kopech showed how good he was, striking out the winger in the second. He had another strikeout to start the third, striking out two of the three he faced in the fourth, three of four batters in the fifth and two of three in the sixth.
He left after 85 pitches. According to STATS, Kopech became the first Sox pitcher since at least 1974 to come out of a game with a no-hitter of at least six innings pitched still intact.
While he wanted to stay in the game, Kopech said he understood the decision to have the bullpen take over. Javier Báez led off the seventh with a single to right center field off reliever Reynaldo López.
The Sox have been aware of Kopech’s workload all season.
“I was born and raised with players, especially pitchers, you don’t knowingly do anything to jeopardize their career,” La Russa said. “You want them to pitch as long as they can, healthy. It’s been like this all the time. It won’t change now. I like the fact that he wanted to go out again, I don’t blame him. And I also thank the fans who want him to come back.”
Kopech said communication has been good as he returned to the rotation after working primarily as a reliever in 2021.
“We talked about playing it from start to finish all year long,” Kopech said. “That is what we will continue to do. We don’t look too far. See how I feel tomorrow and the day after and then good to go for five days from now after that. We will continue to go day by day. That’s a big deal in a 162-game season.
“Especially when we’re trying to make an effort to be in the playoffs. We are simply taking the decision in stride. But I’m going to be as transparent with them as they have been with me.”
Kopech has pitched 104⅔ innings in 21 starts this season. He pitched 69⅓ innings in 44 appearances (four starts) last season.
“I just have a full season under my belt this year and being a competitor for, I don’t know how many starts I’m going to get, but as many as I’m assigned,” Kopech said. “I think that will set me up for a good position in the future.”