Game 2: White Sox fit to be tied
There are no shootouts in Major League Baseball to break a tie, and often times in Spring Training, there are no extra innings to do the same. So, the second of back-to-back games between the Dodgers and White Sox at Camelback Ranch Sunday ended in a 2-2 deadlock. Here’s a look.
HOME RUN: Let’s go with the man who actually hit the home run, Adam Dunn. The slugger said coming into Spring Training that he was going to be more aggressive early in the count, in an attempt to cut down strikeouts and raise his average, and there was Dunn driving out a 1-0 pitch from Peter Moylan to left for a two-run homer in the fourth inning Sunday.
“You know, it’s nice to get those,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Dunn’s blast. “If it lingers on too much, not having good at-bats, you are starting off battling from the negative. It’s nice for everybody to kind of get on the board and have a good at-bat. It feels nice to end your day that way too.”
Dunn’s job won’t change from driving in runs, and he won’t suddenly become a .280 hitter and watch his home run total drop to 15. But he’s taking the time at Spring Training to work on subtle improvements.
“There’s one little mechanical thing I wanted to work on, and I didn’t know how long it was going to take me this spring. I knew we had an extended spring,” Dunn said. “But actually I’m able to carry it over from the cage to the game so far. That’s a positive.”
TRIPLE: On his 35th birthday, Dewayne Wise tripled to right with two outs in the third off of Hyun-Jin Ryu.
DOUBLE: Little things continue to mean a lot to the White Sox under the Robin Ventura regime. In the third, Hanley Ramirez delivered a run-scoring single off of Erik Johnson to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead but Dunn cut off the throw home by center fielder Blake Tekotte and threw back to first, behind Ramirez, where second baseman Gordon Beckham was covering to tag out Ramirez, end the inning and cut short any continued rally.
In the second, backup catcher Hector Gimenez fired a perfect strike to Beckham to catch Andre Eithier stealing by quite a margin.
SINGLE: Alex Rios tripled before Dunn’s opposite field homer, giving Rios three extra-base hits in two games.
STOLEN BASE: When I asked Tyler Flowers for pitchers who had looked good during side bullpen sessions, he mentioned both Daniel Moskos and David Purcey. The two southpaws threw one hitless inning apiece.
CALLED THIRD: It was a solid debut for Johnson, who took advantage of an opportunity the White Sox are giving to their up-and-coming Minor League starters during this first week of Cactus League action. Johnson struck out two and gave up one run on four hits over three innings.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity,” Johnson said. “I just wanted to go out there and pound the strike zone and attack hitters and keep the ball down, let my defense play behind me.”
The native of Los Altos, Calif. also seemed to get a charge out of facing the Dodgers.
“Growing up in the Bay Area and watching the Giants growing up, I saw the Dodgers a lot,” Johnson said. “It felt good to go out at these guys and attack them. It was just another great opportunity today.”
JUST A BIT OUTSIDE: After a leadoff single by Steven Tolleson in the ninth, he was caught stealing with Trayce Thompson at the plate and pulling back on a bunt.