MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers kept hoping Eric Sogard would find a way out of his funk and return to the form that made him a key component to last year’s surprising team.
It never happened and the Brewers finally ran out of time and roster space Deion Sanders Jersey
, leaving no choice but to designate the 32-year-old for assignment when Tyler Saladino was activated from the disabled list Thursday.
With Jonathan Villar unable to reproduce his 2016 magic, Sogard provided a spark atop Milwaukee’s lineup last season. He batted .273 with a .393 on-base percentage in 94 games and signed a $2.4 million deal to return to Milwaukee in 2018.
But he got off to a painfully slow start and saw his playing time diminish even further as Villar showed improvement at second base. Through 55 games this season, Sogard was batting .134 with a .241 OBP and .165 slugging percentage.
With Tyler Saladino returning from the disabled list and recently promoted Brad Miller swinging a hot bat, Sogard became the odd-man out.
“Eric got in a little slump, had some bad luck, and he could never get out of it,” manager Craig Counsell said. As we’re getting healthier, we kind of ran out of space. He’s made a big contribution here, and was a real pro throughout all of this in how he prepared and provided us value.”
Counsell’s squad extended its winning streak to four games with a victory in the series opener and will try to move 18 games above .500 for the first time since the 2014 season Friday as it continues a four-game series with the Braves at Miller Park.
Rookie right-hander Freddie Peralta gets the nod for his sixth career start. He earned his first career loss in his last outing but still made a good impression, putting up zeroes for four innings after allowing three runs to score before recording an out in an 8-2 loss to the Reds on Sunday in Cincinnati.
“I thought he handled it very well,” Counsell said. “That’s a game where we’re probably two hitters from probably removing him from the game, and then he goes five innings and keeps us in the game.”
Peralta has been magnificent otherwise since returning for a second big league stint June 19. He’s 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA in three starts and has struck out 22 batters while walking only four in 18 innings.
He also made a pair of starts for the Brewers in May and takes the mound Friday with a 3-1 record and 2.28 ERA overall.
Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz gets the nod for the Braves, as he tries to lock down a spot on the National League All-Star team.
Foltynewicz has an 0.87 ERA over his last nine starts, holding opponents to a .146 average during that stretch with 64 strikeouts in 52 innings.
Opponents scored more than one run against him in one of those outings and he’s held opponents scoreless in five of them, including his last time out when the Cardinals managed one hit against him in five innings.
He credits his slider for the recent run of success.
“I’m really proud of how far that pitch has come Roger Craig Jersey
,” Foltynewicz said. “I’ve been working like a dog on it the past couple of years, and it’s come a long way. I’m throwing it for strikes when I need to, especially in 3-2 counts. I get to 3-2 a lot, so it’s a good pitch for me.”
Foltynewicz has dominated the Brewers during his four seasons in the big leagues, posting a 1.48 ERA in four career starts against Milwaukee. He faced them twice last season, allowing two earned runs (five total) over 11 innings while striking out 15.
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 Ronnie Lott Jersey
, 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.