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With Eloy Jiménez day to day, Chicago White Sox fall to 0-4 with 3 hits in a 9-0 loss to Atlanta Braves

Eileen T. Meslar/Chicago Tribune/TNS

The Chicago White Sox haven’t had a whole lot of offensive production to begin the season.

That trend continued Monday with a 9-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves in front of 13,781 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The Sox were limited to three hits — two by third baseman Yoán Moncada — while falling to 0-4. The game was called because of rain after eight innings.

The Sox played without designated hitter Eloy Jiménez, who exited Sunday’s game against the Detroit Tigers with left adductor soreness. Jiménez started to display discomfort while running to first base on a grounder to third in the sixth inning.

After Monday’s game, manager Pedro Grifol said Jiménez is day to day.

“He came in, he felt OK, adductor like we anticipated,” Grifol said. “So we’ll see. It’s going to be day to day. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

Gavin Sheets started at DH on Monday and went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a hit-by-pitch in the first inning.

“Obviously if Eloy is not here, we’re going to add a guy, so it will be Gavin and whoever we add,” Grifol said before the game. “We’ll mix and match. Next-man-up type of mentality. We’ve got to continue to play the game hard, play it the right way and put ourselves in a position to win baseball games.

“We have some options, but there’s a possibility that we might end up going on a platoon situation if Eloy is not available. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Right now we’re waiting on Eloy’s results.”

Photos: Atlanta Braves 9, Chicago White Sox 0

Jiménez is a crucial part of the lineup as the cleanup batter. He is 2-for-11 with two singles this season.

“You have to think, ‘Next man up,’” said first baseman Andrew Vaughn, who filled the cleanup role Monday. “We’ve got 13 position players on this team. Everybody has a job. That has to be the mindset.”

Jiménez discussed during spring training the importance of remaining healthy. He played 120 games last season, his most since appearing in 122 as a rookie in 2019.

“Obviously there’s things you can do to put yourself in a position for that not to happen. He’s doing those, we feel,” Grifol said before the game. “We talked about it this morning about routines in between at-bats. Believe me, we’re exhausting everything we can to make sure we prevent these.

“He’s not sitting around. We’ve got the cage down there. You see him, he’s moving around. He’s swinging. He’s doing all kinds of stuff. He’s stretching. We’ve got to find something that works.”

The Sox are working to get things going offensively after being blanked for the second time this season. Moncada singled in the first, Dominic Fletcher singled in the second and Moncada doubled in the third for the three hits.

After Moncada’s double, Braves starter Charlie Morton and relievers Dylan Lee and Tyler Matzek retired the next 17 batters. That streak ended when Moncada walked with two outs in the eighth. It was similar to the season opener Thursday, when the Detroit Tigers retired the final 17 hitters while beating the Sox 1-0.

The best scoring chance Monday came in the first, when the Sox loaded the bases on Moncada’s single, a walk by Vaughn and Sheets’ hit-by-pitch. Paul DeJong struck out to end the threat.

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The Sox are 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position to begin the season.

“We have to continue to work on that, continue to work to put balls in play when we’ve got runners in scoring position,” Grifol said. “We’ll get better at it.”

Morton allowed three hits, struck out six, walked two and hit one in 5 2/3 innings.

Chris Flexen, making his first start for the Sox after signing a one-year deal in the offseason, allowed four runs on six hits with one strikeout and three walks in 4 1/3 innings. The Braves scored once in the third, twice in the fourth and once in the fifth.

“Put us in a bad spot early on,” Flexen said. “Those middle innings kind of got away from us there, and I put our bullpen in a bad spot as well. Efficient first two innings and got squirrely for the next couple.”

The Sox are 0-4 to start a season for the first time since 2015.

“This one kind of got away from us a little bit,” Flexen said. “That mentality has to be the same: Compete every single day and focus on winning ballgames.”