ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Junior Guerra’s defense helped speed things up for the 30-year-old rookie on Friday night. The White Sox pitcher took it upon himself to slow it back down.
After he took the mound in his major league debut, Guerra quickly gave up three straight hits and a run. But before the game got away from him, Guerra turned an unofficial double play en route to completing two innings. He allowed a run, four hits and had an intentional walk and two strikeouts.
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“It was a great experience,” Guerra said through an interpreter. “At this level, all is faster. I feel good. I thought I did good. It was my first time, and I think the next time will be better.”
An unofficial error by White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who dropped Steven Souza Jr.’s pop up after he and Carlos Sanchez nearly collided, didn’t exactly welcome Guerra to the majors. Jake Elmore singled on the next pitch and Guerra allowed a run when Nick Franklin singled.
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But Guerra made a nice play to snag a comebacker by David DeJesus and he threw behind Elmore at third, to cut him down. Franklin tried to advance to third on the play and was thrown out. Guerra struck out Rene Rivera to end the inning.
“That play helped me a lot,” Guerra said. “I felt like the game was faster, and I couldn’t control it. And that play helped me to control the game, control the situation. I feel it calmed me.”
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