White Sox

Ryan Rua helps Rangers rally past White Sox

Ryan Rua helps Rangers rally past White Sox

ARLINGTON, Texas — Trailing by five runs in the eighth inning and scheduled for another game to begin barely 13 hours later, the Texas Rangers could've just decided it wasn't their night.

Instead, Ryan Rua hit a three-run homer to cap a seven-run rally, and Texas beat the Chicago White Sox 13-11 on Tuesday.

"Incredible," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We've talked about the sheer will and heart and resilience. These guys believe."

Chicago led 11-6 before Elvis Andrus led off the bottom of the eighth with a single. Pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland singled home a run, Adrian Beltre drove in another with a sacrifice fly and Ian Desmond hit a two-run triple.

The Rangers still trailed 11-10 with two outs. Rua had only one home run in his previous 48 at-bats, and was just 4 for 26 (.154) against right-handers such as Matt Albers (1-1).

"I kind of swung at two bad fastballs," Rua said. "I had it in the back of my mind that he might come back fastball again, so I was kind of sitting on it."

The ball sailed toward center field, and landed about halfway up the batter's-eye grassy hill beyond the fence.

`It's frustrating. We should have won that game," Albers said. "I pitched around Prince (Fielder) on purpose, and then to Rua got 1-2, and was beating him in, and was trying to go away. The ball leaked right back down the middle."

The AL Central-leading White Sox had won six straight against Texas. Chicago's bullpen entered the game with a major league-leading 1.98 ERA. After the relievers allowed seven earned runs in 1 1/3 innings, the ERA jumped to 2.61.

"We've been using these guys a lot," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It was an off night, I think, bullpen-wise, and that's going to happen in a long season. This is a game where you tip the cap to those guys. They didn't give up."

Alex Claudio (1-0) gave up a three-run double to the first batter he faced in a five-run fourth inning but allowed only one run of his own in a career-high 4 1/3 innings.

"You can talk about the hitting of Rua and the pinch hitters and the ABs," Banister said, "but it was a tremendous job by Alex Claudio. For a guy who's probably the second-to-last guy in the bullpen, he just kept challenging hitters, going at them."

Shawn Tolleson pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 13 opportunities.

Rua had his homer, two singles and four runs batted in. Desmond and Bryan Holaday each homered and drove in three runs.

Garcia and Todd Frazier each had three RBIs for Chicago.

Umpire crew chief Jeff Nelson stopped the game before the third inning began because of nearby thunder. A strong shower brought a delay of 1 hour, 18 minutes.

The final pitch was shortly before midnight CDT. The final game of the three-game series is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. on Wednesday.

Starting pitchers Derek Holland and Carlos Rodon both came back to pitch the third inning after the delay.

Holland retired only two more batters and allowed four runs in the third. Texas tied the game at 5 on Holaday's three-run homer in the bottom of the inning.

Texas reliever Anthony Ranaudo walked five batters in the fourth. All of them scored.

Rodon had a 10-6 lead when he left after 6 2/3 innings. He allowed six earned runs, 12 hits and two walks, and struck out seven.

DATA POINTS

White Sox DH Avisail Garcia tied the longest hitting streak (11 games) of his career with his bases-loaded double. 3B Todd Frazier has nine RBIs in the series' first two games. He drove in six runs and hit two homers, including a 12th-inning grand slam, on Monday. . In his second game as Texas' cleanup batter, LF Ian Desmond hit his fourth homer in the seventh inning. DH Fielder dropped to fifth, his lowest position in the batting order this season. . Holaday's homer was his first as a Ranger and his fourth in five major league seasons.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin (shoulder) had a precautionary MRI exam on Tuesday, but team physician Dr. Keith Meister had not evaluated the results before the game. He went on the disabled list Sunday. . The team said there was no timetable for OF Josh Hamilton (left knee surgery) to resume baseball activities. . OF Shin-Soo Choo (strained right calf) went 1 for 3 with a walk in an extended spring training game. The Rangers reported that he was running the bases at 70 percent speed.

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP Mat Latos (5-0, 2.62) will start on Wednesday.

Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (4-0, 2.68) will take his career-high, 11-game winning streak into Wednesday's game.

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

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USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

PHOENIX, Ariz. — One of the White Sox prized prospects will be on the shelf for a little while.

Outfielder Micker Adolfo has a sprained UCL in his right elbow and a strained flexor tendon that could require surgery. He could avoid surgery, though he could be sidelined for at least six weeks.

Though he hasn’t received the same high rankings and media attention as fellow outfield prospects Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, Adolfo is considered a part of the White Sox promising future. He’s said to have the best outfield arm in the White Sox system.

Adolfo had a breakout season in 2017, slashing .264/.331/.453 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 112 games with Class A Kannapolis.

Adolfo, along with Jimenez and Robert, has been generating buzz at White Sox camp in Glendale, with a crowd forming whenever the trio takes batting practice. Earlier this week, the three described their conversation dreaming about playing together in the same outfield for a contending White Sox team in the future.

As Cactus League play begins, how many spots are actually up for grabs on the White Sox roster?

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AP

As Cactus League play begins, how many spots are actually up for grabs on the White Sox roster?

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Some teams have it easy, with their 25-man rosters seemingly locked into place before spring training games even start.

The White Sox actually have a lot more locked-down spots than you might think for a rebuilding team, but this spring remains pretty important for a few guys.

The starting rotation figures to be set, with James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Miguel Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer the starting five. Carlos Rodon, of course, owns one of those spots once he returns from injury. But the date of that return remains a mystery.

From this observer’s viewpoint, eight of the everyday nine position players seem to be figured out, too: Welington Castillo behind the plate, Jose Abreu at first base, Yoan Moncada at second base, Tim Anderson at shortstop, Yolmer Sanchez at third base, Nicky Delmonico in left field, Avisail Garcia in right field and Matt Davidson as the designated hitter. More on the omission of a starting center fielder in a bit.

Omar Narvaez would be a logical pick to back up Castillo at catcher, and Tyler Saladino is really the lone reserve infielder with big league experience, not to mention he’s a versatile player that can play anywhere on the infield.

Leury Garcia also figures to be a lock for this 25-man roster. But will he be the everyday center fielder, as he was for a spell last season? He played 51 games in center in 2017 but battled injuries throughout the year. I think Leury Garcia will end up the starting center fielder when the season begins because of his bat. His .270/.316/.423 slash line isn’t going to make anyone do cartwheels, but it’s better than the offensive struggles of Adam Engel, who started 91 games in center in 2017 and slashed .166/.235/.282. Engel would still be a solid inclusion on the bench because of his superb defense, but to create that big a hole in the everyday lineup is tough.

How could that position-player group change? Keep your eyes in center field, where there are a couple other guys who could force their way into a roster spot this spring: Charlie Tilson and Ryan Cordell. Tilson has had a tremendous amount of trouble staying on the field since coming over to the White Sox in a 2016 deadline deal, but that hasn’t dampened the White Sox hopes for him. And Cordell got name-dropped by general manager Rick Hahn during SoxFest, when the GM said he’s received multiple calls about Cordell since acquiring him last summer. Cordell put up good numbers at the Triple-A level prior to a significant injury last year.

But the main battles figure to be in the bullpen. At times this winter, as the White Sox kept adding players to that relief corps mix, that the whole thing seemed wide open. But when you think about it, maybe there are only one or two open spots.

You’d have to think these guys are pretty safe bets to make the team: Juan Minaya, Gregory Infante, Nate Jones, Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan. Though Hector Santiago was just recently acquired on a minor league deal, he’s really the only long man of the group, and he could sub in if there’s an injury to a starting pitcher. That leaves two spots between the group of Aaron Bummer, Danny Farquhar, Jace Fry, Jose Ruiz and Thyago Vieira — not to mention guys signed to minor league deals like Xavier Cedeno, Jeanmar Gomez and Bruce Rondon.

Bummer had a 4.50 ERA in 30 big league games last year. Farquhar had a 4.40 ERA in 15 games. Vieira has gotten attention as a flame-thrower, but he’s got just one big league game under his belt, something that might or might not matter to the rebuilding White Sox. Guys like Gomez, who has 40 career saves including 37 just two years ago, and Rondon, who had multiple shots at the Detroit Tigers’ closing job in the past, could vault themselves into the mix as potential midseason trade candidates.

Then there's the question of which of those guys will be Rick Renteria's closer. Minaya had closing duties after most of the bullpen was traded away last summer. He picked up nine saves and posted a 4.11 ERA in his final 17 appearances of the campaign. Look to Soria, though, a veteran with plenty of closing experience from his days with the Kansas City Royals. If he's given the opportunity to close and succeeds, he could fetch an intriguing return package in a potential deadline deal.

But now it's game time in Arizona.

“The fun part of playing the game of baseball is playing the game of baseball," Renteria said earlier this week. "We prepare. I think they all enjoy what they’re doing in terms of their preparation. They take it seriously, they focus. But ultimately like everything that we do in life, I guess it’s a test. And the games are a test for us on a daily basis. And how we are able to evaluate them and take advantage of the opportunities that we have to see them in a real game situation is certainly helpful for us.”