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Santiago eschews sleeves, Sox spank Dodgers, 7-3

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Starter No. 5a starts shaky, but then, Keon Barnum konnects!

MLB: Spring Training-Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers
Barnum Go Boom: In his second at-bat of the spring with the Sox, Keon konnected for a two-run berm bomb.
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The fact that Keon Barnum was the story of Saturday’s Chicago White Sox 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers tells you that spring is winding to a close.

The Dodgers, in fact, took their spanking in stride, hightailing it back home to L.A. after the game, in anticipation of meeting the Angels in the Freeway Series.

Today’s win was the second straight game in which the action off of the main diamond was more intriguing as the game in front of us. Yesterday, it was Michael Kopech working out some kinks in a minor league appearance, while elsewhere White Sox downshifted into a 5-5 tie vs. the Seattle Mariners.

Today, the late flip-flop of starters — Carson Fulmer eschewing the bright lights of Camelback for the back fields of a minors game, Hector Santiago getting a feel for his apparent role on the White Sox as general custodian and thrust into the start vs. L.A. — created a similar disinterest in the main game.

So, let’s turn to the action outside of Camelback first. Fulmer threw 5 13 innings and yielded four hits, two walks and an earned run while striking out seven. He threw 60 of 94 pitches for strikes.

But: Just how was Carson Fulmer feeling?

While back at Camelback, Santiago and his promising-but-failed run at the No. 5 slot reduced him to sounding over-the-hill at 30:

Apparently, per Fegan, there was some major kerfuffle regarding Santiago and his uni today. Long sleeves, as the southpaw wore to begin the game, resulted in a three-run homer served to Austin Barnes, and general discord. When the long sleeves were sliced away, Santiago settled down.

Put in a less sartorial sense, Santiago allowed two of his first three batters to reach, then served a homer to the fourth. After that, Santiago — and five Chisox relievers that followed — were nearly perfect, with 12 strikeouts, four walks, five hits and zero runs over 8 23 innings.

A B-squad White Sox offense awakened as well, after falling behind 3-0 in the first.

The first and biggest blow came in the fifth from Keon Barnum, who clocked a hanging curveball from Alex Wood deep into a scrapple of Bums fans on the berm in right-center to pull the White Sox to 3-2. Later in the frame, a modest dose of RBI Error (Leury Garcia, scoring Omar Navarez) and Sac Fly (Avisail Garcia, plating Juan Perez) Offense pulled the Good Guys ahead to stay.

In the seventh, Perez sent a 3-2 slider nearly bouncing off of a cameraman in center field, to put the White Sox up, 5-3.

A moment, please, for the three-game output of one Juan Perez, No. 86 in your scorecard but Mr. 3.333 OPS in your hearts. The Little Shortstop That Could has tapped out a single, double and homer to go with two walks in his five PAs over three Cactus games.

Listen, I’m not saying, but I’m saying, TA, you better stop worrying about walk-up music and all that cover-boy swag and start getting serious about this 5-foot-11 minimite who’ll be down in Charlotte by way of Louisville by way of Bakersfield by way of Winnetka, Calif.

So, the White Sox added a couple more runs and sent Kershaw and Utley and Toles and PUIG! and all those Cali yahoos home bawling. Better luck next year, pards.

The 15-12 Pale Hose host the spring juggernaut that is the Milwaukee Brewers in tomorrow’s Cactus finale. Chris Volstad is slated for the start, while we await word of whether Rick Renteria will hold Perez out of the game to preserve that 3.333 OPS, a la Ted Williams and his quest for .400 in 1941.