March 11, 2015

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Opening day is less than four weeks away and the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox are being forced to rethink their rotations because of injured aces.

The Rangers could be without Yu Darvish for the season if he needs elbow surgery. Chicago's Chris Sale is recovering from a broken foot and won't be ready for opening day.

Both managers talked starting pitching after the teams tied 4-4 Wednesday.

Darvish could be headed for Tommy John surgery. While two doctors recommended the operation that could keep the Japanese star out for 12-18 months, Darvish awaits a consultation with Dr. James Andrews.

Manager Jeff Banister also said Greg Holland is likely out for opening day. Holland, who missed most of last season after knee surgery, has been slowed this spring by left shoulder soreness. He could be back for the home opener four nights later.

Banister was impressed by newcomer Yovani Gallardo's performance in a morning ''B'' game against the White Sox.

The 29-year-old right-hander, acquired from Milwaukee in the offseason, worked four scoreless innings, giving up one hit. He walked none and struck out two.

''He was very efficient today,'' Banister said of Gallardo, who was 8-11 with a 3.51 ERA for the Brewers last season. ''All pitches were in play and he pounded the strike zone. It was a really effective day.''

Gallardo, in his second spring start, says throwing strikes was the most important thing.

''Being able to command the fastball, that's the key,'' he said. ''Moving the ball around this early is what you want to do.''

Gallardo started the last five openers for Milwaukee.

The White Sox, meanwhile, made it official. Sale will not be ready for the opener on April 6 in Kansas City. Sale was injured Feb. 27.

Manager Robin Ventura said that he has not picked a starter yet against the Royals. Jeff Samardzija, who opened the last two seasons for the crosstown Chicago Cubs, is a leading candidate.

''I'm not going to sit here and tell you who's opening, but hopefully a week into the season we can set a goal somewhere in the first two weeks,'' Ventura said of Sale's return.


Prince Fielder, who is rebounding from a back injury that cost him nearly all of the 2014 season, had an RBI single and scored a run in Texas' three-run first against Chicago's Carlos Rodon. The third overall pick in last June's draft, Rodon went 2 1-3 innings and gave up five hits, four of them in the first inning.

The White Sox tied the game twice, the final time in the eighth inning on back-to-back doubles by Andy Wilkins and Andy LaRoche. Texas starter Alec Asher went two innings, giving up a run on two hits and a hit batter.

''These are major league hitters,'' Rodon said. ''The (second) inning I kept the ball a little more down.''


With two outs in the second, Texas' Leonys Martin was running on the pitch when Ryan Rua's groundball hit him, making Martin an inning-ending out. By rule, Rua was credited with a base hit and the closest defensive player, in this case Chicago second baseman Carlos Sanchez, was awarded the putout.

Micah Johnson, who is competing with Sanchez for the starting second base spot, made his first out of the spring as the last out of the game. Johnson was 6 for 6, including four hits on Tuesday.


White Sox: Will Ferrell lands in Glendale for the 4:05 p.m. game Thursday between the White Sox and the San Francisco Giants. World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner starts for San Francisco and Hector Noesi goes for Chicago. Ferrell is expected to appear for both teams in the game as he travels through the Phoenix area, playing nine positions plus DH in five games on Thursday as part of an HBO special benefiting cancer research.

Rangers: The White Sox split squad travels to Surprise, Ariz. Frankie Montas starts for Chicago while Anthony Ranaudo goes for the Rangers.

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