What a terrific Sunday for the White Sox, wiping out the San Diego Padres 6-0 in Peoria and holding on to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 at Camelback Ranch.
There were lots of great performances in both games, but let’s lead with Reynaldo López. Working for the first time with Yasmani Grandal, López had not one but two sliders working at different speeds, handcuffing the Friars. The righty surrendered five hits over 4 ⅓ but punched out five as well. His scoreless outing dropped his spring ERA to 1.23.
The bullpen picked right up where López left off, beginning with Carson Fulmer relieving López in the fifth and striking out the only two batters he faced. Fulmer’s ERA is down to 2.25 this spring. And Ross Detwiler, Zack Burdi and Tayron Guerrero took the final four frames giving up just a hit and a walk to close it out.
Offensively, the best fireworks were in Peoria as well. Cheslor Cuthbert hit two home runs, Grandal had an RBI double and Yermín Mercedes homered again, providing the eventual winning runs.
Cuthbert victimized Chris Paddack twice, first on an 0-2 changeup, then a fastball for a two-run shot, his second in two at-bats.
There doesn’t appear to be a space for Cuthbert on the major league roster, but the veteran is doing is all to force one, now hitting .360 with a 1.240 OPS in early play.
Mercedes finished off the scoring with his third home run of the spring, his customary towering fly out to left:
Bad stuff? Not much. Nicky Delmonico whiffed twice, perhaps falling being Mercedes or Cuthbert in the race for the 26th man.
This could very well have been the best game the White Sox played all spring.
Who was the MVP of today’s 6-0 win over the Padres?
This poll is closed
Cheslor Cuthbert (2-for-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, K)
Yasmani Grandal (1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI)
Reynaldo López (4 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 5 K, Win)
Nomar Mazara (1-for-2, R, BB)
Yermín Mercedes (1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI)
Back at Camelback Ranch, the White Sox jumped out to another big lead — 4-1 through two innings — then held on through a disastrous Caleb Frare outing to complete the spring “sweep.”
The bulk of the game was thrown by Charlotte Knights rotation pieces Aaron McRae (start, three innings, one hit, one earned, two walks, three Ks), Brady Lail (two innings, two hits, two walks, two Ks) and Matt Tomshaw (two innings, one hit, one K). The traffic the three created on the bases led to just one run, which may speak to their collective craftiness, but likely signals how terrible the Royals offense might be in 2020.
New papa of three-day old Michael, Frare may not have his mind on the game. Perhaps let’s hope not, because he was lit up by three solo home runs in his eighth inning, from three of the first four batters he faced. But Jacob Lindgren came on for a terrific ninth (two Ks) to earn the save.
Offensively, the only runs the White Sox scored (i.e. non-wild pitch, sac fly or fielder’s choice runs) came on Zack Collins’ second homer of the spring, part of a three-run second inning:
Bad stuff beyond Frare included Luis Basabe’s continuing misadventures in the field, as he earned his third error in sparse spring play so far. Edwin Encarnación continues to slump, 0-for-3 with 2 Ks today and rocking an .062 OPS so far this spring. And in both games, the White Sox had a stinky Ks per BB: three walks against nine Ks here, two walks and 10 Ks in Peoria.
But you can’t argue with a sweep, be it Cactus League or regular season play. The White Sox’s wins today bumped them up to a 10-6 record, fourth in Arizona and eighth overall in spring training.
Who was the MVP of today’s 5-4 win over the Royals?
This poll is closed
Tim Anderson (1-for-2, R, BB)
Zack Collins (1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI, BB)
Jacob Lindgren (IP, 2 K, Sv)
Aaron McRae (3 IP, H, ER, 2 BB, 3 K, Win)
Matt Tomshaw (2 IP, H, K, Hold)
Tomorrow, the White Sox host Cincinnati, with Dylan Cease getting the call. Game time is 3:05 CT, and you can listen on WGN or watch at WhiteSox.com. Brett has the SSS call, while Colleen Sullivan takes the reins at SSHP.