I had a doubleheader here on Saturday with the Diamondbacks playing the White Sox in the afternoon contest and the Mariners taking on the Dodgers in the evening game.
In the first matchup, White Sox starter Jose Quintana gave up two hits and then was hit on his left leg by a line drive off the bat of Diamondbacks shortstop hopeful Chris Owings, forcing the hurler out of the game (day-to-day with a shin contusion). All three baserunners scored on a sacrifce fly, followed by a two-run double by Andy Marte (yes, that former prospect).
The Diamondbacks added a run in the fourth inning on a home run to left field by centerfielder A.J. Pollock, now hitting .409 for the spring. Pollock is somewhat under projected but a nice buy low in both mixed and NL formats (well at least as of now).
The White Sox were hitless for the first two innings but put together four straight hits off Brandon McCarthy in the bottom of the third inning, good for two runs. But, the rally was aborted by a strikeout/caught stealing double play with no outs.
The Pale Hose tied the game in the sixth inning on a triple by Avisail Garcia, a walk to Paul Konerko, and then back-to-back singles by Alexei Ramirez and Jordan Danks but ended that rally with another caught stealing with Tyler Flowers in the batter’s box.
The game would stay tied until the top of the ninth inning, when Arizona catcher Tuffy Gosewisch hit a two-run double off Chicago reliever Deunte Heath to win the game.
McCarthy looked very good in the first, second, fourth, and fifth innings, with only two runs, and four of six hits he allowed occurring in the third.
Potential closers J.J. Putz and Nate Jones had rocky innings, although Jones did not give up any runs while Putz, who was tagged for a pair of runs, got a blown save for his efforts.
In the night game, things got off to a strange start in the top of the first inning when the first two Mariners singled off Josh Beckett, who only faced three batters in the inning. Abraham Almonte lined a single to right field and was promptly picked off. Then Kyle Seager followed suit with a single to left field but was doubled off first base when Nick Franklin drilled a ball to right fielder Scott Van Slyke who then fired to first base, catching Seager off-guard.
In the bottom of the first, Dee Gordon was safe on an infield single and then stole second base. Gordon took third on an errant pickoff throw by Beckett and after Carl Crawford walked, scored on a single to center by Van Slyke. Both Crawford and Van Slyke then crossed the plate when Mariner first baseman Jesus Montero errored on a sharp one hopper by Clint Robinson that rolled far into right field.
But, the Mariners quickly tied the game up in the second on a walk to Justin Smoak, a two-run homer to Jesus Montero (his first of two on the night) and a solo shot into the left field bullpen by Stefen Romero. Smoak added a long two-run homer in the third inning.
Dodgers outfield prospect Joc Pederson narrowly missed a big fly to center field in the fourth inning. He got a double after the ball bounced back off the wall, but persevered and lined a two-run homer over the center field wall in the sixth.
* * * * *
On Friday, the Texas Rangers visited Camelback Ranch to play the Dodgers and L.A. prospect Zach Lee pitched two scoreless innings to start the game, giving up just a pair of hits while striking out one Ranger and getting the win.
Martin Perez pitched well in his second and third innings but gave up two runs in the first inning on a walk and a long home run to dead center by Hanley Ramirez that traveled over 410 feet from home plate.
Former closers Brian Wilson and Chris Perez both threw scoreless innings for the home team while Ranger pitcher Michael Kirkman pitched three hitless innings, giving up just two walks while striking out two Dodgers.
* * * * *
On Thursday, White Sox starter John Danks pitched three scoreless innings, giving up just one hit while walking two. Scott Baker, who started for the Mariners, was not as fortunate, allowing one run on three hits in his three innings. The good news is that Baker didn’t walk any Rangers but the bad news is that he didn’t strike out any either.
Offensively, Adam Eaton continued his hot hitting with three singles in three plate appearances and added a stolen base. Eaton for the spring is hitting .600 with an OBP of .714.