After several months of cold, winter weather, Spring Training baseball is officially back. The White Sox returned to action on Friday, marking the beginning of Sox games until (at least) the end of September. Of course, the outcome of these games in Arizona don’t really matter, but that isn’t stopping Sox fans from sharing their excitement. Below is a quick summary of both the good and bad that happened in each game.
Friday – Dodgers beat the White Sox 13-5
Dylan Covey got the starting nod in Friday’s opener against the Dodgers. In his two innings of work, Covey’s only mistake came in the first inning when he gave up a solo shot to Justin Turner. Soon after the righty’s departure, the flood gates opened up. Tyler Danish gave up a pair of homers to Kike Hernandez and Matt Kemp, in what turned out to be a five run third inning. Things didn’t get any better after this as Michael Ynoa surrendered four more in just 1/3 of an inning pitched. Despite these struggles on the mound, there were a couple of bright spots. Pitchers Connor Walsh and Jace Fry both notched scoreless innings in relief along with a couple of strikeouts.
At the plate, Tim Anderson got off to a hot start, launching a 3-run shot to left field in the third. A healthy Ryan Cordell also went 1-3 with 2 runs scored and Kevan Smith had a 2-RBI double. Of course, I can’t forget to mention Avi Garcia’s home run robbery in the third inning, as seen below.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) February 23, 2018
Overall, things could have gone better for the Sox in their first contest. However, fans were just excited to see this team back on the field, especially with guys like Jake Burger and Eloy Jimenez making their White Sox Spring Training debuts. Again, this was only the first game of many so some struggles should be expected.
Saturday – White Sox 5, Mariners 3
This was an exciting game to watch, even though a lot of the regulars got the day off. Hector Santiago made his first unofficial start since rejoining the Sox last week. The lefty got in a few jams during his two innings of work, but was able to escape without any damage. TJ House followed Santiago and gave up two runs while Dane Dunning surrendered only one. Dunning also had a strikeout and walk in his 1.2 innings of work. The back end of the bullpen – Xavier Cedeno, Jeanmar Gomez, and Chris Volstad – provided four solid innings of shutout relief to close out the rest of the game.
At the dish, Nicky Delmonico went 1-3 with a double, RBI, and run scored. Jake Burger also smoked a ball to right field that was misplayed and resulted in a triple. He later scored on a Jose Rondon sac fly.
— Sox On 35th (@SoxOn35th) February 24, 2018
The real player of the game was outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe who had two big plays. His first came in the bottom of the 6th when he showed off his cannon of an arm. After misplaying the ball, Basabe was able to recover and nail former White Sox Gordon Beckham at second base. He then got the job done with his bat when he crushed a ball to left-center for an RBI double, giving the Sox a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning. In the end, a combination of decent pitching and clutch hitting is what lead to the first White Sox win of the spring.
Sunday – White Sox 8, Reds (SS) 5
On Sunday, the White Sox used their bats to get by the Reds for their second consecutive win of the spring. After starting pitcher Jordan Guerrero gave up four runs in two innings of work, the offense exploded for five runs in the fourth inning. Tim Anderson began the charge with a lead-off double. After a quick Jose Abreu pop out to first, the Sox recorded six straight singles, courtesy of Avisail Garcia, Yoan Moncada, Matt Davidson, Zack Collins, Ryan Cordell, and Yolmer Sanchez.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) February 25, 2018
In the very next inning, Matt Davidson hit his first home run of the spring, a three run shot to put the Sox up 8-4. This turned out to be the difference in the ballgame as the relievers did a good job in shutting down the Reds. One of those relievers was Jordan Stephens, who made his first Spring Training appearance on the bump. He provided two scoreless innings of relief and some very sharp off-speed pitches. Connor Walsh eventually sealed the deal in the ninth inning to get his first save of the spring. The White Sox record is now 2-1 in Spring Training.
Coming up, the White Sox will have their first full week of games. Top pitching prospect Michael Kopech is scheduled start on Monday vs. the Oakland A’s at Camelback Ranch. Also slated to pitch this week are Carson Fulmer (Tuesday vs. Cubs) and Lucas Giolito (Wednesday vs. Rangers).
For updates, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook – @SoxOn35th.