GLENDALE, Ariz. — Yoan Moncada's offensive work yielded its biggest benefits to date on Wednesday as he hit his first and second homers of the spring.
Avisail Garcia and Cody Asche also homered for the White Sox, who downed the Kansas City Royals 7-3 at Camelback Ranch. Moncada's two-homer performance raised his spring OPS by more than 200 points as he belted a pair of dingers off Kansas City veterans Jason Hammel and Kelvin Herrera.
"You know (Herrera's) one of the best in his role," Moncada said through an interpreter. "I'm very happy because I hit two homers today and it was a very good game for me.
"This is a process and you know that you have to keep on working in this process. You're going to have ups and downs, but you have to keep doing your job and you have to keep working hard. I'm very happy with the process. The results are going to be there when I need it."
Moncada's bat-flipping, two-year-old son, Robinson, attended his first game of the spring.
The second baseman's afternoon got off to a slow start, including a pair of misplays in the field, one that led to his fifth error of the spring. Despite those struggles, the White Sox like what they have seen from Moncada in the field and believe he has the tools to stay at second base in the long run if he cleans up his mistakes. And they love the offensive potential, which has produced extra bases on five of his eight hits so far.
Moncada's first homer came off Hammel on a 3-2 pitch and resulted in a long drive to right field. He later drove a first-pitch fastball from Herrera the opposite way for another round-tripper. Both homers came with Moncada hitting from the left side.
Moncada raised his spring OPS from .648 to .888, including a .545 slugging percentage.
"I've been putting a lot of effort in my defense because that's an area I know I can improve," Moncada said. "But I'm also been putting a lot of effort into my offense because you can't just worry about one aspect of the game. You have to worry on all aspects of the game and both are very important. I'm just trying to get better in both of them."
White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez, another prospect acquired in December, allowed two earned runs and three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Lopez settled down after he surrendered a leadoff homer to Raul Mondesi in the first inning and retired the final seven batters he faced.
"I kept my plan," Lopez said through an interpreter. "You can't change your plan just because the first batter hits a homer.
"I worked hard. I could finish strong. That's important. I gave the team a chance to win the game."
Prior to Wednesday's game, the White Sox, who are off on Thursday, optioned or reassigned eight players to the minors, including pitchers Tyler Danish, Chris Beck, Giovanni Soto and outfielder Willy Garcia. The moves reduce the number of players in camp to 46.