Hitting coach Frank Menechino sees this when he sees Eloy Jimenez on his current hot streak:
“Taking his walks, being selective,” Menechino said.
He also sees Jimenez swatting home runs, and Jimenez hit a three-run shot in his first at-bat Tuesday, his 13th of the season and fourth homer in his last seven games, helping the Sox to a 4-2 victory over the Rockies.
Jimenez was 14-for-26 with 12 RBI in that stretch after the homer off Chad Kuhl.
Jose Abreu also homered, a leadoff shot against Justin Lawrence in the eighth inning that snapped a career-high 37-game homerless streak. It was the 15th homer for Abreu, who also singled and walked and hiked his average to .312.
The Sox, who are 10-3 in their previous 13 games, won before a paid crowd of 23,606 at Guaranteed Rate Field to stay within three games of the American League Central leading Guardians (75-65), who beat the Angels for their fifth straight win. The Sox (73-69) trail the Guardians by four in the loss column with 20 games left.
In his second start after coming off the injured list because of a left knee strain, Michael Kopech pitched five innings of two-run ball, allowing three hits including a two-run homer to Alan Trejo in the third. Relying heavily on his fastball, Kopech did not walk a batter and struck out three. He threw 80 pitches, 53 for strikes.
Jimmy Lambert, Reynaldo Lopez and Kendall Graveman pitched scoreless innings of setup relief for closer Liam Hendriks, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his 33rd save.
The Sox have four games left with the Guardians, including one in Cleveland Thursday.
Anderson could return next week
Shortstop Tim Anderson, recovering from surgery on the middle finger of his left hand, ramped up his baseball work after getting clearance from a specialist Tuesday and could return as soon as late next week, general manager Rick Hahn said.
A rehab stint at Charlotte is “a possibility, yes,” Hahn said. “Is it a certainty? No. Let’s just see how this ramp-up goes.”
Robert back in lineup
Luis Robert, who had started in two of the last 16 games, returned to the lineup after dealing with a sore left wrist and hand. Robert lined out hard to third base and flied out his first two times up. His swing looked slightly compromised when he struck out in the seventh.
“We did not place him on the IL because I don’t think at any point, either prior to his most recent return or in the period of time between when he was hit in the hand and tonight, that more than 10 days elapsed,” Hahn said. “We were trying to maximize his availability.”
Lynn to likely face Indians
Lance Lynn could be moved up in the rotation to face the Guardians Thursday in Cleveland, manager Miguel Cairo said. Lynn would pitch on four days rest and Lucas Giolito’s turn would be pushed back. The one-game stop in Cleveland is a makeup of a rainout.
Hahn has COVID
Hahn tested positive for COVID Tuesday morning and talked to reporters via Zoom. Hahn said his symptoms were mild and hoped to return to the ballpark next week.