Ruggiano's 3-run HR helps Mariners top White Sox 11-7
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Justin Ruggiano hit a three-run homer as the Seattle Mariners split-squad team rolled to an 11-7 win Saturday over the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch.
Ruggiano, acquired in a deal with the Chicago Cubs in the offseason, has a good shot at playing time in the outfield this season.
''That's what I'm hoping for,'' Ruggiano said. ''It will all work itself out. We have a good opportunity to win. That's the most important thing.''
After the White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first, the Mariners scored four in the third off the Sox' Zach Putnam. Dustin Ackley started the rally by drawing a walk, Brad Miller doubled, Ketel Marte singled home a run and Ruggiano belted a 2-2 pitch into the left-field bullpen.
''The hits I'm not too worried about right now,'' Ruggiano said. ''I'm really trying to see pitches and see the ball well.''
The Mariners sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth, scoring six runs on six hits, to take a 10-1 lead.
Chicago scored a run in the sixth and seventh innings, and the Mariners' Jordy Lara hit a solo homer in the seventh. The White Sox broke loose for four runs in the eighth to close the gap to 11-7.
Miller went 2 for 3 and Marte finished 2 for 3.
For the White Sox, Leury Garcia went 2 for 2 and Avisail Garcia was 2 for 3. Melky Cabrera picked up his first hit of the spring.
Hector Noesi, expected to be the Chicago White Sox' No. 4 starter this season, retired all six batters he faced. The White Sox picked him up after the Mariners waived him last year. ''I never feel secure. I always try to do my work and feel like I'm competing to be better. Sometimes you feel too comfortable, and things change.''
''He looked good,'' said manager Robin Ventura, saying Noesi ''came a long way'' with the Sox last year.
Seattle's Jordan Pries, who was named the Mariners' minor league co-starting pitcher of the year last season, allowed one run and one hit in two innings. He walked one and struck out two.
The run came when Emilio Bonaficio scored after Jose Abreu's infield ground out on a close tag at the plate.
''Whether he scored or not, I don't know,'' Pries said. ''All I know is I'm trying to get ground balls. What I could have done better is hold the runners a little better.''
Chris Sale, who injured his foot in a home accident on Feb. 28, said he's throwing off one knee and making progress. Sale, who finished third in the American League Cy Young voting last year, is expected to miss about another two weeks.
''He's probably watching TV shows'' while doing rehab work, Ventura said.
Both teams changed the start times of games Thursday because of an MLB request to allow HBO to film a special during Cactus League games. The White Sox game vs. San Francisco at Camelback Ranch has been shifted from 1:05 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. The Mariners game at Oakland has switched from 1:05 p.m. to noon.
Mariners: J.A. Happ will start on the mound Sunday at Cincinnati. Taijuan Walker will start Monday vs. Cleveland at Peoria.
White Sox: Jeff Samardzija will start Sunday at Oakland. Jose Quintana will start Monday at Camelback Ranch vs. Arizona.