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Luis Robert walked to the plate in the first inning Thursday against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field, took a practice swing and then stepped into the batter’s box.

Robert stepped out momentarily, took another swing, then stepped back in and went to work.

Thursday marked Robert’s returned to the Chicago White Sox lineup for the first time in nearly three weeks.

And he immediately hit a single against Cole Ragans.

Robert last played July 15, exiting after the first inning of a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field with lightheadedness. He went on the injured list with blurred vision. The Sox reinstated him Tuesday. After sitting for two days, Robert was the designated hitter Thursday.

Robert described what sidelined him, saying through an interpreter: “Ever since the first day of Minnesota (on July 14), it was a few things with my vision. Just a bunch of stuff.”

Sox general manager Rick Hahn on Tuesday said of Robert: “Fundamentally, I believe that he was suffering the effects of a virus is probably a not very satisfying way of saying it. But the reality is he did have a couple of vitamin deficiencies that we’ve been able to address that have been linked to causing his symptoms, and fortunately those symptoms have resolved.

“As you would imagine, based on those symptoms, we put him through an extraordinary amount of testing, through which we were able to rule out a lot of bad things, which was obviously a great relief to everyone. And at this point it seems fairly clear he was suffering the ill effects of a virus that was perhaps causing his deficiencies and leading to his symptoms.”

Robert said “it felt weird.”

“Now I’m better, I’m good,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes (Friday) when I’m in center field. That will be the challenge, will be the test.”

When Robert went on the IL, Hahn said he was affected more in the field than at the plate. His return Thursday gave the Sox their most complete lineup of the season.

“I’m very glad to be back and happy to finally have our lineup,” Robert said. ‘It’s going to be fun for us.”

Shortstop Tim Anderson, left fielder Eloy Jiménez, third baseman Yoán Moncada and catcher Yasmani Grandal were among the players to miss time because of injury. Those four, along with Robert and first baseman José Abreu, were core members of the 2020 team that reached the postseason. And they were all in the lineup Thursday.

“We are all together,” Abreu said Thursday through an interpreter. “We are united. And with Robert playing, it’s the first time we are all going to be playing at the same time actually (this season). That was how it was supposed to be since spring training.

“Just a great, great feeling. Knowing that the team is complete, that everybody is where he’s supposed to be is good. It’s something that makes you feel good. The past is in the past, and now we have to keep … moving forward.”

Abreu has been on a tear, slashing .367/.414/.561 with 12 doubles, five homers and 23 RBIs in his last 35 games entering Thursday. Jiménez had at least one hit in his last nine games.

“I have always seen what they do, how they go about their business,” Robert said of Abreu and Jiménez. “It’s good. I’m happy about the success they’re having right now, enjoying the moment. It’s definitely a good thing for everyone.”

Robert looked to pick up where he left off before the trip to the IL. He came into Thursday slashing .301/.334/.461 with 13 doubles, 12 home runs, 54 RBIs, 48 runs and 11 stolen bases in 74 games.

“Getting Luis back, when he left he was one of the hottest hitters in baseball,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said before the game.

La Russa said the plan was to rest Robert on Saturday, have him in the lineup Sunday and in one of the games in Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

“It’s a smart way to break his legs in,” La Russa said. “Hopefully he gets on base a lot.”

Robert was ready to contribute again in any form.

“I’ll be good with the plan they decide for me,” Robert said. “If that’s the plan they want me to follow, I am good with it.”

()

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Jimmy Garoppolo Reveals Wholl Give the 49ers a Big Boost in Week 13

Getty Jimmy Garoppolo throws the ball on November 27, 2022 versus the Saints.

The Miami Dolphins, from what it sounds like on the other side, can’t just worry about Christian McCaffrey igniting the rushing attack for the San Francisco 49ers. Or even Deebo Samuel.

That’s because on the other side, Jimmy Garoppolo revealed who on the 49ers provides the “big boost” heading into this marquee Week 13 showdown at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, December 4.

Powerful & Aggressive Back Being Activated

Losing Elijah Mitchell to an MCL sprain that could sideline him for the rest of the regular season became a topic of discussion for the 49ers during the week of preparation for the Dolphins game.

However, Garoppolo will soon have Jordan Mason to feed the football to — who Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area revealed on Saturday, December 3 that Mason will join Ty Davis-Price as elevated backs for this upcoming game following the status for Mitchell.

The #49ers will go with rookie RBs Jordan Mason and Ty Davis-Price behind Christian McCaffrey vs. the Dolphins on Sunday.

They did NOT elevate veteran Tevin Coleman from the practice squad. Elijah Mitchell (knee) was placed on injured reserve.

— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) December 3, 2022

That means runs like this have a strong probability of occurring at Levi’s versus the ‘Phins.

Jordan Mason is special. Everyone in Levi Stadium knows what’s coming. pic.twitter.com/NX1KyXvXb8

— Ryan G Hensley (@ryanghensley) November 28, 2022

But Garoppolo got asked how much of a boost does the offense get in watching the former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket break off those kind of runs while carrying 224-pounds.

“Big Boost,” Garoppolo said to begin. “It’s starting to become pretty regular for him too. He’s just so strong. He’s explosive, has a low center of gravity and his cuts are just aggressive. It’s everything you want in a running back, honestly. He makes it tough on defenses and I think those are body blows that wear on you in the fourth quarter, so it’ll be interesting to see a full game with him.”

Per Pro Football Focus, Mason received a season-high of nine offensive snaps in the 13-0 home win over the New Orleans Saints. And after finishing with an average of five yards a carry (delivered five carries for 25 yards), Mason delivered most of his yardage after contact.

Jordan Mason had 5 carries for 25 yards and 18 of those yards came after contact. When the Saints knew what the 49ers were trying to do, Mason still picked up 2 first downs and ran through arm tackles. Here are his carries, including the 1 that didn’t count that went for 6 yards. pic.twitter.com/fHEomig9qb

— KP (@KP_Show) November 28, 2022

‘You Can Feel Him’

Kyle Shanahan is another who has witnessed how impactful Mason is with the football in his hand…literally.

The head coach of the 49ers described the physical nature of the big running back — even sharing how those who aren’t in front of Mason feels the wrath of his pads.

“When he gets the ball, I think you can feel him,” Shanahan said on Friday morning during his appearance on KNBR’s Murph and Mac show. “He runs hard. I know we feel it from the sidelines, and it was cool. He hadn’t gotten a lot of opportunities carrying the ball, but when we lost Elijah, when Christian was banged up, we had to close out that game with him.”

How Has Miami Fared Against the Run?

Fans who will take in Dolphins-49ers will likely see lots of handoffs.

Mike McDaniel took Shanahan’s misdirection zone read offense to South Beach while Shanahan continues to believe in the ground game. But while McDaniel’s rushing offense is struggling at ranking 28th in yards through the ground, how has the Dolphin run defense fared?

This is a unit that has allowed more than 100 yards rushing five times this season. And that includes the 252 yards the Chicago Bears racked up on November 6.

However, the Dolphins have still surrendered the seventh-fewest ground yards this season. But the Dolphins have allowed 13 touchdowns after handoffs, which is the most among AFC East teams.

Miami did allow its fewest rushing yardage total of the season at 36 in the win over the Houston Texans. But the 49ers are carrying with them an average of 4.4 yards per carry and have 10 rushing touchdowns.

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