Chicago White Sox right-hander Joakim Soria had difficulty against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Friday’s exhibition game.
Unfortunately, Soria wasn’t the only White Sox pitcher who struggled to get outs. After the starting pitchers hit the showers, relief pitchers from both teams had challenges. The Dodgers got the win with a score of 7-6.
Despite the struggles on the mound, there were several bright spots on offense that kept the score tight through the entire game.
Strong offense from the top of the lineup
The top of the lineup took charge against the Dodgers pitching, especially after Clayton Kershaw left the mound. Yoan Moncada showed off his patience at the plate, earning two walks that veterans Avisail Garcia and Leury Garcia converted into the runs.
Moncada’s first walk was in the third inning with Tom Koehler on the mound. Koehler had difficulty commanding his pitches and it was fantastic to see a young player like Moncada take full advantage of his trouble.
Moncada was also able to show off his speed on the base paths. He stole second base after his first walk in the third inning. Then, in the fourth inning, he walked on four pitches, then managed to score on a single by Leury Garcia that gave trouble to Alex Verdugo in right field. Even though his spring training batting stats are less-than-stellar, he’s going to be tough to pitch to in the regular season.
Big bats making an impact
The other offensive highlights came from Adam Engel, Eddy Alvarez, and Welington Castillo. Engel and Alvarez hit solo homers. Engel hit his in the third off of Koehler’s first pitch of the game. With two outs in the ninth and down by two runs, Alvarez closed the gap. But it just wasn’t enough. While Castillo did not get to cross home plate, he did show his ability to be a team player when he hit a sac fly in the third to bring home Jose Abreu.
Notable start and finish
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Miguel Gonzalez had his first start of the exhibition season. He gave up four hits and walked one batter. All of his hits were singles and two were back-to-back. Gonzalez benefitted from quality defense that prevented runners from moving up more than one base.
In more quality pitching, Chris Volstad got five outs. His first batter grounded into a double play, ending the eighth inning. In the ninth, he saw three batters, who all grounded out. Both Gonzalez and Volstad currently have ERAs of 0.00. Not too shabby.
What held the team back
The weak spots for the Sox included Soria on the mound and Nicky Delmonico and Yolmer Sanchez at the plate. Soria gave up four runs and could not record an out in the third inning. Delmonico and Sanchez both went 0-for-3 at the plate. Delmonico left three runners on base and Sanchez struck out once and left a runner stranded.
The White Sox are now 4-4 in spring training. They face the Kansas City Royals on Saturday at Surprise Stadium at 2:05 PM.