Four home runs save shaky Sox arms
Betemit, Quentin, Thome, Fields go deep off A's pitching
WHITE SOX 12, A'S 10
at Phoenix, Ariz.
Sunday, March 22
White Sox at the plate: Carlos Quentin opened the scoring with an RBI double in the first inning, and he added a three-run homer in the second. Jim Thome also had an RBI double and a homer, and Wilson Betemit had a two-run single and a homer. Betemit has hit four homers, driven in 12 runs and racked up 12 hits over his past eight games, and he's among the Cactus League leaders in homers (five) and RBIs (15). Josh Fields, who went into Sunday's contest batting .458 (11-for-24) over his previous seven games, added two more hits, including his third spring homer.
A's at the plate: Kurt Suzuki went 4-for-4 with a triple to lead Oakland's charge back into a game that screamed "blowout" early on. Down 4-0 after the first, the A's got RBI singles from Mark Ellis and Daric Barton in their half of the frame. After Chicago built its lead to 8-2 in the top of the third, Oakland rallied for four runs in the bottom, getting a sacrifice fly from Matt Holliday, a run-scoring groundout from Ellis, an RBI triple from a resurgent Bobby Crosby and an RBI double from Cliff Pennington. Ryan Sweeney's RBI single in the fifth temporarily trimmed the deficit to 8-7. Barton had three hits and hit his first spring homer in the eighth. Pennington also had three hits, and Sweeney had two.
White Sox on the mound: Starter Clayton Richard, one of Chicago's top pitching prospects, gave up seven runs (five earned) on 11 hits over four innings in his sixth Cactus League start, pushing his ERA from 3.63 to 5.06. He was followed by D.J. Carrasco, who gave up a hit, walked two and struck out two over two scoreless innings. Closer Bobby Jenks worked the seventh and wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam, extending his spring-long streak of scoreless outings to six.
A's on the mound: Starter Vin Mazzaro, who didn't allow a run in his first four appearances this spring, but gave up three runs over 2 2/3 inning his last time out, had another rough day. Struggling with his command both in and out of the strike zone, he allowed seven runs (all earned) on six hits and two walks, striking out three over two innings. Lefty Dallas Braden, who was scratched from his scheduled start Saturday because he's had a root canal the previous day, had his longest outing of the spring, but three of the six hits over his 5 1/3 innings of work were solo homers. Russ Springer, working on consecutive days for the first time as with the Athletics, gave up a run on two hits in two-thirds of an inning, after allowing two runs in an inning on Saturday.
Cactus League records: White Sox 11-14, A's 12-12-1.
Up next for the White Sox: The White Sox have their last off day of Spring Training on Monday, followed by their only trip to Goodyear, Ariz., on Tuesday at 3:05 p.m. CT. Gavin Floyd will stay on track to start in Game 2 of the regular season by throwing in a Minor League game at Camelback Ranch on Monday.
Mychael Urban is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.