The best thing about Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day was the Chicago White Sox second inning.
Springing the club to a 3-0 lead were two-out RBIs from Danny Mendick (one-run single) and Charlie Tilson (two-run double). Unfortunately, those were the only runs scored by Chicago, in a 7-3 loss to the Arizona Diamonbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Carlos Rodón started and set down six of the first seven Diamondbacks through a smooth-groove first two frames. Alex Avila led off the third inning with a solo homer, thirding the White Sox lead. Old friend Eduardo Escobar brought Arizona one run closer with a solo shot leading off the fourth.
Just when Rodón thought he might escape this start in line for a win, Zack Grienke grounded into a run-scoring double play, tying the game in the fifth. And in the sixth, Rodón was knocked from the box after a one-out walk to Jarrod Dyson. Colton Turner relieved and gave up a single and sacrifice fly, turning Rodón’s prospective win into his first loss of the spring.
All told, Rodón threw 90 pitches, 58 for strikes, and gave up four earned in 5 1⁄3 innings, with five hits, two walks and three strikeouts. As a stretching-out start, it wasn’t bad. Rodón will get one more Cactus League tuneup before taking the ball for Opening Day at the Kansas City Royals.
Here’s Rodón, dissecting his two home run balls and overall start (with bonus, upbeat Tim Anderson content tacked on to the end):
The bullpen was a mixed bag. Turner (two outs, one hit, one earned, one walk) was bad, and Nate Jones (one out, two hits, two earned, two walks, K, homer) was atrocious and might be getting the Juan Minaya treatment, if not for his $4.6 million salary. Flip side, José Ruiz (one run, two Ks) and Zach Thompson (two outs, clean) were nails.
Offensively beyond the second inning, and two more hits from Jimmy Jazz McCann (.429 on the spring, with a 1.067 OPS), not much to write home about. Tilson’s double was the only extra-base hit of the game, among seven safeties.
It’s back to Camelback Ranch for the 7-13 White Sox on Monday, hosting Derek Holland and the San Francisco Giants. Manny Bañuelos hopes to secure the No. 5 starter spot with a strong effort. Joltin’ Joe Resis has the South Side Sox coverage. The game will be broadcast on MLB.TV and WGN 720.