Trading leads four times over the course of the game, the White Sox ultimately gave way to the longball assault of the Texas Rangers, falling 5-4. Texas scored four of its five runs on solo homers.
Ryan Cordell was the offensive star for the Chisox, drilling doubles in each of his three at-bats and driving in all four Chicago runs.
James Shields, making his first start of the spring after subbing his first round of game work with private backfields sessions, impressed. He essentially pitched Rangers ace Cole Hamels to a draw, going four innings — the longest of any Sox starter this spring — with three hits, a walk and three strikeouts. The sole damage done to Shields came on a fourth-inning solo shot from Rangers catcher Juan Centeno.
Other highlights for the Chi included another solid game for Jacob May, continuing his outsiders’ bid for an Opening Day roster spot. May, starting in right field, tripled and singled.
Out of the bullpen, Danny Farquhar relieved Shields and had a clean inning, with one strikeout.
The three subsequent relievers, Rob Scahill, Jordan Stephens and Juan Minaya, were touched for at least one run.
Finally, two somewhat embarrassing occurrences may well have marked the difference between winning and losing for the White Sox today.
First, it was turning something good into a lost opportunity —twice.
Yolmer Sanchez, starting once more at third base (penciling him in for the hot corner on Opening Day should shift to penning, any time now), clocked consecutive triples in the second and fourth innings. Both three-baggers came with only one out.
Neither times did Sanchez end up touching the plate.
The key culprit in both cases, preventing Sanchez from scoring, was Casey Gillaspie, striking out with Yo dangling at third in both instances for out No. 2. Omar Navarez, while ultimately failing in the clutch both times, at least put bat on ball —and in the fourth, was retired on a hard liner out to center field.
Embarrassment No. 2 was strictly Little League.
In the ninth, with the White Sox trailing by one and the entire world knowing Ricky’s Boys Don’t ... you know ... Zack Collins jumped a full three batters in the order to lead off the inning. Collins flew out to left, but his transgression should have cost the White Sox an additional out, with shortstop Grant Massey being called out for missing his turn.
That didn’t happen, but Chicago still shrunk away in the ninth after a Mason Robbins whiff and Mitch Roman ground out.