Alex Gordon to begin minor league rehab assignment on Sunday

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The Royals own the best record in the American League at 73-46. And they are about to get even stronger.

According to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star, Royals manager Ned Yost said this afternoon that Alex Gordon will begin a minor league rehab assignment Sunday with Triple-A Omaha.

Gordon has been sidelined since July 8 with a Grade 2 strain of his left groin. There’s no clear timetable in regard to how many rehab games he’ll need, but it’s reasonable to expect him to return around when rosters expand on September 1.

Gordon was having one of his best seasons at the plate prior to the injury, batting .279/.394/.457 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI over 78 games. Ben Zobrist has seen some playing time in left field since coming over from the Athletics at the trade deadline, but he figures to be the regular second baseman down the stretch.

White Sox shut down Lucas Giolito for remainder of season

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The Athletic’s James Fegan reports that the White Sox are shutting down starter Lucas Giolito for the remainder of a season. An MRI revealed a mild lat strain, which typically comes with a three- to four-week recovery timetable. The third-place, 65-84 White Sox have nothing left to play for, so it makes sense to play it safe with their prized young hurler.

Giolito, 25, had a breakout season. He went 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA and a 228/57 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings. He made his first All-Star team and will likely earn a few downballot votes for the AL Cy Young Award.

Giolito was scheduled to start Tuesday’s series opener against the Twins. Ross Detwiler will start in his place opposite Martín Pérez.