Thursday, March 10, 2011
Posted: 4:56 p.m. Updated 11:01 p.m.
By Brett Ballantini
Glendale, Ariz. - Dayan Viciedo, whose great work in the field and at the plate early in Cactus League play had positioned him as the darkhorse 25th man on the roster, will be sidelined for up to a month after a right thumb fracture suffered vs. the Texas Rangers on Thursday (which also was Viciedo's 22nd birthday).
Texas hurler Dave Bush hit Viciedo with a 1-0 changeup in the top of the eighth inning. The right fielder remained on the ground for a short period of time, before getting to his feet and leaving the game.
Trailing 5-3 at that point, with Mark Teahen on second with a leadoff double, the White Sox rallied to take a 7-6 lead with a run in the eighth and three more in the top of the ninth. Ironically, it was Viciedos replacement, Andrew Garcia, who doubled in the winning run.
Floyd sparkles as Sox sweep split-squad games
The White Sox won both games on their most challenging day of play yet this spring, winning two road games.
Ironically, it was Viciedos replacement, Andrew Garcia, who doubled in the winning run. Three batters earlier, Michael Restovich had tied the game at six with a two-run single.
White Sox pitching took the day, as starter Phil Humber opened the game with a strong, scoreless three innings and was followed by strong outings from Gregory Infante (two innings) and Kyle Cofield (one).
Brandon Hynick lost a step in his battle to become the 12th man out of the bullpen, as he blew a save in spectacular fashion, surrendering five earned runs in the sixth. Nate Jones finished the game vulturing a win courtesy of the Chisox comeback despite giving up Texas sixth run in the eighth.
For the nightcap of sorts, the White Sox shuttled eastward to Scottsdale to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-3. Gavin Floyd had a terrific outing, the longest of the spring for a White Sox starter. The righthander hurled 4 23 innings and was touched for only three hits and one run, a homer by Russell Branyan.
Chris Sale came on and continued to scuffle a bit, surrendering a two-run homer to Gerardo Parra and raising his ERA to 4.26. Sergio Santos and Brian Bruney pitched the eighth and ninth, respectively, nailing down the win for Floyd.
Gordon Beckham was the offensive star at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, falling just a triple short of the cycle en route to a 3-4, two RBI night that raised his spring average to .429. Dallas McPherson and Alexei Ramirez also contributed two hits and an RBI apiece.
Viciedos injury narrows the 25th man spot on the roster down to three likely contenders: Lastings Milledge, Brent Lillibridge, and Alejandro De Aza. De Aza has the strongest track record with manager Ozzie Guillen, Milledge has been singled out for praise of late by Guillen, and Lillibridge offers the team the most flexibility and has had the strongest spring of the trio.
The White Sox now enter their Friday home tilt against the Cubs sitting at 4-7-1 on the spring.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.