The Chicago White Sox continued their Cactus League schedule against the division rival Kansas City Royals on Saturday afternoon, sending out top pitching prospect Carson Fulmer to match-up against the Royals’ Ian Kennedy.
The White Sox struck early, as Avisail Garcia drove in J.B. Shuck on an RBI double to left field. The Royals would answer in the home half as rookie Carson Fulmer allowed the royals to score a run on a pair of doubles by Alcides Escobar, and Mike Moustakas.
Adam Eaton put the Sox up 2-1 in the top of the third inning when he launched a solo home run into center field off of Royals reliever Danny Duffy. Avisail Garcia added another run later in the third when he singled to left field, driving in Carlos Sanchez for his second RBI on the afternoon. The Sox led 3-1 after two and a half innings.
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The Royals, just like they did in the bottom of the first inning, matched the White Sox with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Kendrys Morales drove in shortstop Clint Barmes, when he singled into left field. Alcides Escobar advanced to third base on the RBI single, and eventually scored on an Eric Hosmer sac-fly, tying the game at three-a-piece heading into the top of the fourth inning.
In the bottom of the fifth inning Royals first-basemen Eric Hosmer collected another RBI, and another sac-fly, as he tied the game once again this time at 4-4.
White Sox shortstop Tyler Saladino homered to left field off of Royals reliever Ross Ohlendorf, driving in catcher Rob Brantly, and putting the good guys back on top 6-4 going into the bottom of the sixth inning.
White Sox reliever Nik Turley allowed the Royals to string some hits together in the bottom half of the eighth inning, resulting in an RBI single by Ramon Torres, and cutting the White Sox lead down to just one run.
The White Sox tacked on one more insurance run in the top of the ninth inning on a Travis Ishikawa RBI single to center field. The White Sox led the Royals 7-5 heading into the home half of the ninth. The Royals gave the White Sox a scare in the bottom half when Cody Decker smacked a solo home run off of White Sox pitcher Matt Lollis. The Royals would not get another run across, and the White Sox won the game by a final score of 7-6.
An exciting back-and-forth type battle between two divisional opponents saw the White Sox net their first Cactus League win of the spring.
Have yourself a day, Adam Eaton. On Saturday afternoon against the Kansas City Royals, Eaton was a triple away from hitting for the cycle. With a 3-3, 2 RBI day I would say Eaton feels good about his showing in spring training up to this point. Eaton isn’t the only one having a nice spring training, as there has been quite a few stand outs.
Avisail Garcia also went 2-3 with 2 RBI, and is also having a good spring. Garcia knows that he really needs to step his game up this season, and I think he’s looking better at the plate. His swing is certainly more fluid, and his first RBI was a solid hit ball, so those are good signs.