The first-place Chicago White Sox welcomed an important player back to the lineup on Monday, when Eloy Jiménez was activated off the injured list after suffering a torn pectoral tendon way back in spring training. .
Jiménez was back in the lineup Tuesday and he made an impact on both sides of the ball. First, he threw Michael Taylor out at the plate to save a run in the second inning. Check it out:
Pretty bad send by the third-base coach there -- look how shallow Jiménez was playing in left! -- but hey, most runners aren't thrown out at the plate on good sends. Jiménez is not exactly a defensive dynamo in left field, though he will do something fun and amazing out there from time to time.
Once he got his first defensive highlight of the season out of the way, Jiménez got back to doing what he does best: crushing homers. He slugged a go-ahead, three-run home run against Kyle Zimmer in the eighth inning, turning Chicago's 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead. The White Sox went on win by the same score (box score).
The home run is Jiménez's first since last Sept. 21. White Sox left fielders came into Tuesday's game hitting .242/.318/.410 on the season, which is slightly below average production at the position. Even if it takes Jiménez a little while to get into a groove at the plate, he'll be a massive upgrade in left. Tuesday was a reminder that he can change any game in any at-bat.
Tuesday's win improved the White Sox to 60-41 on the season. They have a comfortable 9 1/2-game lead in the AL Central.