Sox close out Cactus League slate with loss to Brewers

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Sox close out Cactus League slate with loss to Brewers

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Zack Greinke was hoping to end his spring training with a strong outing. It didn't happen.Greinke surrendered six runs - five earned - over three innings in his final spring start Monday at Camelback Ranch, but the Milwaukee Brewers still walked away with 13-7 win over the Chicago White Sox.Greinke was left shaking his head after the right-hander gave up five hits, struck out two and walked three."It was such a mess you can't really think about it too much," he said. "It felt like not a baseball game really going on out there."Greinke, who coming in had allowed only two earned runs in 19 1-3 innings this spring, downplayed the windy conditions."It was more getting behind in the count and throwing meatballs, and letting them crush the ball," he said. "It was pretty stupid."However, Greinke said he isn't too concerned."I was looking forward to making a good start," he said. "It was just a bad one. They were taking a lot of pitches. I was getting behind then not making quality pitches."
Manager Ron Roenicke was also unconcerned."He's been so lights out in the spring, let's get this one out of the way and he'll get back on track and do what he's been doing," Roenicke said.White Sox starter Gavin Floyd allowed four runs in 4 2-3 innings in Chicago's final spring game in Arizona before Opening Day. Floyd gave up seven hits, struck out four and walked two.Dayan Viciedo hit a solo homer off Greinke for his second long ball in as many days for Chicago.Brooks Conrad hit a solo home run for Milwaukee off Floyd - his fourth homer of the spring.Floyd's problem inning was the second, when he allowed three runs."The second inning, I got in the stretch and started rushing a little bit, got behind a lot of hitters, but bounced back," Floyd said. "Even the hits they got, they were good pitches, and I got weak contact for the most part. I made a couple of mistakes with two strikes, but overall I felt strong. Even when things went wrong, I was able to get refocused."The White Sox will play two exhibition games against the Astros on Tuesday and Wednesday in Houston. The team departs with its Opening Day roster set, but without a regular closer.Manager Robin Ventura said the decision could be revealed on Opening Day. Candidates he has mentioned are 2010 All-Star Matt Thornton, rookies Addison Reed and Hector Santiago, or Jesse Crain, who dealt with a strained oblique this spring."I will know and they will know," Ventura said. "I don't really feel the need to tell everybody and make a statement about it."Ventura is completing his first spring training as a manager."It was fun," Ventura said. "It's busy. There's a lot of work to it."Notes: The White Sox drew 98,198 fans to Camelback this spring, their highest total in the ballpark's four years. Average attendance was 6,137, the second-highest average since 6,280 in 2010. . The Brewers scored their final seven runs against White Sox minor leaguers. .Several regulars for both teams didn't play. .As for surprises this spring, Ventura named rookie Nate Jones, to the final spot in the bullpen. "(He) didn't necessarily have a spot when you visualize it, and all of a sudden you go through spring and you see how he's progressed and done things. Those are the good surprises," Ventura said.

Chris Sale: Trade from White Sox 'bittersweet,' ready to move on with Red Sox

Chris Sale: Trade from White Sox 'bittersweet,' ready to move on with Red Sox

There’s no question he’s excited about the chance to pitch for a perennial playoff team in front of Fenway Park crowds deep into October.

But Chris Sale described the trade that sent him from the White Sox to the Boston Red Sox as bittersweet on Wednesday morning. On his way out of town, Sale, who was traded Tuesday for four minor leaguers, including two elite prospects, credited the White Sox for their support and belief in him from the outset of his career. But while he wishes he could have won a title on the South Side, Sale also said he’s ready to move on.

“It’s exciting for all the reasons I already said,” Sale said. “It’s tough. You build a relationship with these guys and they are like family. Everybody over there is being in your family. You are around these guys probably even more during the year than you are around your family. It’s tough. But knowing what lies ahead makes it a little bit easier for that transition.

“It didn’t work out. I really wish it did. I have nothing but really good things to take from that and I appreciate my time with the White Sox. But I’m looking forward to the next chapter.”

After several years of hearing trade speculation, the five-time All-Star said he started to sense the possibility was real a few weeks ago after a conversation with his agent. The chatter began to increase with the start of the Winter Meetings this week and Sale said he was inundated with texts from friends and family in anticipation of where he could be headed. When he learned it was the Red Sox, Sale said was ecstatic to learn he’d be playing for one of the “greatest baseball franchises ever.”

“It’s kind of like being monkey in the middle, you’re just glad when you finally get the ball,” Sale said. “It’s hectic. There’s a lot of speculation. There’s story after story and obviously getting flood with text messages from family and friends. Just to have the whole process out the way and to get back to normalcy will be nice.”

[Complete coverage of the White Sox-Red Sox Chris Sale blockbuster trade]

Many of those messages came from former White Sox teammates. Sale said he and his wife, who is soon due with their second child, spent much of Tuesday looking at old pictures and nostalgia from his White Sox tenure. Though he’s disappointed by the lack of team success with the White Sox, Sale said the team’s support was a critical element to his success.

The White Sox drafted Sale with the 13th overall pick in 2010 and he reached the majors later that season. Though he spent the first two seasons in the bullpen, the team’s plan all along was to make Sale a starting pitcher, something others weren’t certain he could handle. Sale has been an All-Star and also finished in the top six in the Cy Young Award vote in each of the five seasons since he became a starter.

“It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to in Chicago, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of great moments,” Sale said. “I had a very good conversation with Rick (Hahn) yesterday.

“I was in a situation in 2010, how many teams would have done what they did? It’s hard to say now, but probably not very many. They drafted me in the first round when people had questions. They brought me up to the big leagues really fast and people probably had questions. They threw in the rotation and people clearly had questions.

“They were really, they had my back a lot and they gave me opportunities that not a lot of other people would have given me. I’m very thankful for that.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Breaking down the Chris Sale trade

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Breaking down the Chris Sale trade

On the latest episode of the White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien and Dan Hayes break down the White Sox trade of Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox.

Plus, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe provides some insight on what exactly the White Sox got in return for their former ace.

And Rick Hahn talks about just how difficult it was to pull the trigger and trade elite, homegrown talent.

Listen to the latest episode below: