Sale helps White Sox beat Rangers 6-2 at spring training
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Chris Sale pitched into the sixth inning, Todd Frazier homered and the Chicago White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 at spring training on Tuesday.
Chicago catcher Alex Avila got just his second hit of the spring, a two-run single in the fourth that ended A.J. Griffin's day. The former Oakland A's pitcher, trying to win a spot in Texas' rotation, was charged with five runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Adam Eaton also connected for the White Sox in the seventh. Chicago has a baseball-high 48 homers this spring.
Sale allowed one run on Hanser Alberto's homer and six hits in 5 1-3 innings. The left-hander struck out five and walked none.
''It was nice. It was cool enough to stay loose,'' Sale said.
Sale's next outing is opening day against Sonny Gray and the Athletics on Monday night in Oakland.
''It's great to come down here and get your bearings but we're all ready to start the race,'' Sale said.
Josh Altmann homered for Texas against Jake Petricka in the seventh.
Rangers: Griffin continues his return from Tommy John surgery, performed in April 2014.
''I thought Griffin threw the ball well,'' Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. ''I liked what we saw.''
Griffin, 28, had a 3.60 ERA over two seasons with Oakland from 2012-13, and appears to have the inside track on a rotation spot in Texas, though Banister wouldn't commit to him after Tuesday's game.
''That fastball-curveball mix, saw the changeup today,'' Banister said. ''He battled against Frazier, eight-pitch at-bat I believe and Frazier finally got him but I felt like he made some quality pitches.''
White Sox: Sale finished with two walks and 13 strikeouts in 16 2-3 spring innings. He did all of his work on the side in minor-league games until March 19, with the White Sox keeping him away from teams he would see in the first two weeks of the season.
It didn't seem to affect Sale's performance, particularly on Tuesday.
''You just try to make it as real as possible, try to mentally engage like you're fighting and go out there and try and do what you do during the regular season,'' he said.
MADE THE TEAM
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins will be added to Chicago's 25-man roster in time for opening day. Rollins signed a minor league deal in February and gets a $2 million salary for making the team.
Rollins had two hits and drove in a run against the Rangers. The switch hitter struggled at the plate in his lone season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .224 last year with 13 homers and 41 RBIs.
Before the game, Texas optioned pitcher Nick Martinez to Triple-A Round Rock, and released outfielder Drew Stubbs. Also released from minor league deals were outfielder Jordan Danks (brother of White Sox pitcher John Danks) and pitchers Adam Dian and Sam Stafford.
The White Sox sent infielders Carlos Sanchez, Matt Davidson, Leury Garcia and pitcher Tommy Kahnle to Triple-A Charlotte, and reassigned outfielder Jason Coats to minor league camp.
Davidson hit five homers this spring.
''There's not really a spot there, but if he can go down and continue to do what he's doing ... this is the best that we've seen since we acquired him,'' manager Robin Ventura said.
THANKS FOR COMING OUT
Chicago's final game of the spring at Camelback Ranch drew 4,176 fans, giving it a total of 89,829 for the Cactus League season. The victory assured the White Sox of a winning record (15-12-1), their first since Chicago moved its site to Glendale in 2009.
Rangers: Cole Hamels makes his last start before opening day on Wednesday in Surprise against the Royals and Ian Kennedy.
White Sox: Jose Quintana faces the Reds in Goodyear on Wednesday in the Cactus League finale for both teams.