Chicago right-handed pitcher Dylan Covey says he is healthy and ready to get back to work when the White Sox head to Texas to begin a three-game series on Friday against the Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Covey (3-2, 3.45 ERA) will pitch the series opener while Texas will counter with right-hander Yovani Gallardo (1-0, 12.08).
Covey has been the White Sox’s steadiest starter this season and was protecting a 5-2 lead in the fourth against Oakland, his former team, June 23 when he felt some soreness in his hip and groin areas while he was coming off the mound and was removed from the game.
“I don’t know exactly what it was,” Covey said. “We didn’t get any tests done but all the manual tests they did said my strength is good. Just probably like a cramp or something like that that was lingering a little bit. I was feeling it on the mound, so definitely thinking about it.”
Covey was sidelined from May 26-Aug. 15 last season with a strained left oblique. He’s been a pleasant surprise for the White Sox this year, having drastically cut down his home run rate.
“Everything felt great — unless something weird happens, I’ll be good to go,” Covey said of his bullpen session on Tuesday. “That’s the plan. It didn’t really hurt. It was kind of a precautionary thing, I think.”
Covey is 0-0 with a 20.25 ERA in two relief appearances against the Rangers.
Gallardo will make his fifth appearance and third start of the season on Friday. It will be his third start with the Rangers, with whom he’s allowed nine earned runs over 10 1/3 innings in his initial two starts.
Gallardo is slated to be working on extended five-days’ rest. He picked up the win in his last start, a 9-6 Rangers victory on Saturday in Minneapolis. Gallardo is 1-1 with a 4.79 ERA over four career starts versus the White Sox.
The White Sox had a delayed arrival into Texas after a 2-1 loss to Minnesota in 13 innings on Thursday.
Texas enjoyed an off day on Thursday after a 5-2 win over San Diego that gave the Rangers their fourth straight series win.
Texas got a sterling performance by left-hander Mike Minor, who retired the first 19 Padres’ batters before a single from Eric Hosmer with one out in the seventh. He retired 21 of the 22 batters he faced over seven innings.
The Rangers inked Minor to a three-year contract in the offseason. He was a starter with the Braves in 2010-14 before missing all of 2015-16 because of a torn labrum in his left shoulder and is starting to prove that the Rangers made the right move despite a slow start to the season.
I feel better, yeah,” Minor said after Wednesday’s game. “I feel a little bit more consistent with my delivery, repeating things. It’s more about what I think. I think I can do it.
“Early on, I still had the confidence. I just knew that I was a little bit off with my mechanics and everything, but I knew I had the stuff to get through a lineup three times, four times, whatever it is, and to go deep in ballgames.”
Texas is 9-3 over its past 12 games after losing six in a row.
Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance during Wednesday win over the Padres, extending his on-base streak to 40 straight games.
That ties for the longest such streak in the Majors this season. Odubel Herrera of the Phillies reached base in 40 straight from March 30-May 19.
The Rangers dropped three of four games on May 17-20 on Chicago’s South Side in the first series between the two teams this season.