Bidding for their fourth straight win (clip-and-save to see how often we’re writing that in the regular season!), the Chicago White Sox fell just short, dropping Sunday’s matinee against the Oakland A’s at Camelback ranch, 7-6.
Two Chicago hurlers were responsible for nearly all of the Oakland damage, as Lucas Giolito has settled his spring ERA at the spot he basically finished last season, 6.75, after a 4 2⁄3 inning outing that produced three earned runs off of two homers, the lowlights of a five-hit, three-walk outing.
Giolito did have three Ks as well, and to his credit, he seems very aware of his overall performance — not necessarily translating to the box score — and is clearly feeling some forward momentum:
The good news is that the White Sox offense — impressively robust pretty much all spring long — got Giolito off the hook for the loss, scoring two in the fourth on a José Abreu double and Daniel Palka single, then tying it up on a booming Yoán Moncada solo shot to center with two outs in the fifth. Here’s Abreu driving in the first White Sox run of the game:
Today, bad news chased good news, however, as Alex Colomé relieved Giolito (technically, Aaron Bummer, who whiffed his only batter to wrap up Giolito’s start) and let Oakland take the lead right back. Ex-White Sox Josh Phegley smashed a screaming liner solo shot to left to make the game 4-3, and before Colomé surrendered for the afternoon, two more runs crossed the plate, off of four two-out hits. Nate Jones had to bail Colomé out, in fact, whiffing Austin Beck to draw the curtain on the sixth inning.
In the top of the seventh, Dylan Cease entered the game, making his second appearance of the spring. This one didn’t start out too hot, as Cease surrendered an infield hit to Kevin Merrell and an RBI double to Phegley before any beat reporters could set up their phonecams to record Cease’s 100 mph cheese on the day (truth, people). After a wild pitch pushed Phegley to third, Cease got a ground out and K to potentially strand Phegley at third. The fireballer walked Eric Campbell, yikes, but before any more damage could be done Seby Zavala gunned Campbell down trying to steal second, and Oakland successfully ran themselves out of a potential blowout inning.
Phegley’s double did turn out to be the key insurance run, as Abreu connected on his second RBI double of the game after the stretch, driving in Tim Anderson, Adam Engel and Danny Mendick (all walked by J.B. Wendelken) with two outs to draw the White Sox within one. Unfortunately, pinch-hitter Micker Adolfo was called out on strikes to end the inning, and the White Sox as a team whiffed in six of their final seven at-bats of the game.
Tomorrow, the 6-9 White Sox travel to Phoenix to take on the Milwaukee Brewers, with Leigh Allan providing the game coverage. It’s an MLB Network game, but online you’ll only enjoy Milwaukee’s radio team coverage via MLB.TV.