But fate intervened. Jordan Danks, penciled in as the starting center fielder, was limping around the clubhouse before the game with an injured right knee.
A little more than two hours before game time, a new lineup was produced. Danks was scratched, replaced by Wise in center field and as the ninth hitter in the order.
The rest, as they say, is history. Wise matched a career-high with four hits to become the White Sox's bright spot in a 10-6 loss to Texas at Rangers Ballpark. The 35-year-old, 10-year veteran came into the game hitting .095 in only 22 at-bats. (“It’s hard to say I’m struggling with only 22 at-bats.’’) Three hours and 16 minutes later, his batting average climbed to .231.
Three of his hits, including a game-tying two-run home run in the sixth inning, came off Yu Darvish.
Obviously, two hours was plenty of time for Wise to prepare.
“I do the same things to get ready as I’d do for any other day,’’ Wise said. “I’m cool with it.’’
Wise had singles in the second and fourth innings. In the sixth, with a runner on and two out, Wise timed a Darvish off-speed pitch and sent it into the right-field seats to tie the score at four.
“He used that pitch against a lot of guys tonight,’’ Wise said. “I read it when I saw it come out of his hand.’’
In his last plate appearance in the eighth, Wise doubled to left off Rangers reliever Michael Kirkman, a left-hander.
Defensively, Wise covered a lot of ground to chase down a couple of long fly balls off the bat of Jeff Baker.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura took note: “It was good to see,’’ Ventura said.