Staying hot: Andrew Vaughn hit an RBI single in today’s loss. His spring batting average sits at .350, while his OPS is 1.080. (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)
It was a forgettable day for the pitching staff, as they allowed 12 runs (all earned) on 18 hits in a high-scoring, 12-7 loss to the Giants in Scottsdale.
Dallas Keuchel got the start for the White Sox. Though he started strong, things did not end that way for him. After throwing two scoreless innings, Keuchel allowed back-to-back RBI singles by longtime Giants Brandon Belt and Buster Posey. The White Sox got one of those runs back in the top of the fourth on a Nicky Delmonico single to make the score 2-1. But, the Giants came right back in the bottom half, with an RBI ground-rule double by Jaylin Davis and an RBI single by Brandon Crawford. Keuchel’s final line was the following: three and two-thirds innings, four runs (all earned), eight hits, one walk, and three strikeouts. Keuchel’s spring ERA increased to 5.87.
The White Sox’s next pitcher, José Ruiz, fared no better. Ruiz faced four batters, and though he struck out two of them, the other two (Darin Ruf and 2018 second overall pick Joey Bart) hit homers. When Ruiz left the game in the fifth, the White Sox trailed by a score of 6-1.
The offense appeared to be having a rough day until, incredibly, an explosion in the sixth inning put the White Sox in the lead. The first four batters of the inning (top 100 prospect Nick Madrigal, top 10 prospect Luis Robert, Nomar Mazara, and top 25 prospect Andrew Vaughn) all singled.
All of a sudden, it was a 6-3 game, and the White Sox had two runners on with no outs. Delmonico broke the streak by striking out, but James McCann quickly started a new streak, as he tripled (yes, James McCann did that). Zack Collins doubled to tie the game, and Cheslor Cuthbert put the Sox ahead with a single.
Unfortunately, the lead did not last. From that point forward, the White Sox’s bats were quiet, while the Giants were far from finished. A two-out, two-run homer by Zach Green off Alex Colomé put the Giants ahead by a score of 8-7. Green’s home run turned out to be the decisive hit. The score remained 8-7 until the bottom of the eighth, when the Giants put up a big, crooked number against Bernardo Flores to put this one out of reach.
Codi Heuer was a diamond in the rough as far as the pitching was concerned. Heuer pitched a scoreless inning, retiring all three batters he faced and striking out two of them. Heuer has not allowed any earned runs this spring (five innings pitched, 0.600 WHIP).
After this 12-7 loss, the White Sox’s spring record is 8-6, and there will be split squad action tomorrow. The first game will be against the Royals at 3:05 CST, and the second game will be against the Padres at 3:10 CST. Alex McRae is set to start against the Royals, while Reynaldo López is the probable starter against the Padres.