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.

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As he surveyed the landscape this offseason, Peter Bourjos thought he and the White Sox would make for a good fit.

Adam Eaton had been traded and Austin Jackson departed via free agency, leaving the White Sox with Melky Cabrera and several young players to man a thin outfield. Bourjos, who lived in Chicago until second grade, pursued the White Sox and last month agreed to terms on a minor-league deal in hopes of earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Last season, Bourjos, who was born in Chicago, hit .251/.292/.389 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 383 plate appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I always liked playing in Chicago,” Bourjos said. “It was a good fit and then spring training is here. I have two young kids. So packing them up and going to Florida wasn’t something I wanted to do either.

“We definitely look at all those options on paper. Evaluate what might be the best chance of making a team and this is definitely one of them. It seems like a good fit on paper.”

If he’s healthy enough, Charlie Tilson will get the first crack at the everyday job in center field. Tilson, who missed the final two months of last season with a torn hamstring, is currently sidelined for 10 days with problems. Beyond Tilson, the White Sox have prospects Adam Engel and Jacob May with Cabrera slated to start in left field and Avisail Garcia pegged for right. Leury Garcia is also in the mix.

But there still appears to be a good shot for Bourjos to make the club and manager Rick Renteria likes his veteran presence for the young group. Bourjos has accrued six seasons of service time between the Phillies, Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals.

“Bourjy has been around,” Renteria said. “He knows what it takes. He understands the little nuances of major-league camp and how we have so many players and we want to give them all a look. We want to see Bourjos, we want to see him out there.”

Bourjos, who turns 30 in March, has an idea what he wants to do with his chance. A slick defensive outfielder, Bourjos wants to prove he’s a better hitter than his .243/.300/.382 slash line would suggest. He said it’s all about being relaxed.

“Offensively just slow everything down and not try to do too much,” Bourjos said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself and it hasn’t translated. I think last year I got in a spot where I just tried to relax in the batter’s box and let everything go and what happened happened. I had success with that.

“I now realize what that feels like and it doesn’t work. Just take a deep breath and be relaxed in the box and good things are going to happen.”

Gio, Geo and Gio: White Sox spring training has its own version of 'Who's on First?'

Gio, Geo and Gio: White Sox spring training has its own version of 'Who's on First?'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Giovanni Soto pitched to Geovany Soto at White Sox camp on Monday morning, and the Internet loved it.

The veteran catcher and rookie pitcher, who share similar names and have been friends for two years, worked together during live batting practice. The unrelated pair, who both hail from Puerto Rico, said they’ve been confused for each other several times since reporting to camp last week. Each has also heard the other’s name being called out and thought it was for them, which has led to more confusion. But those mix-ups haven’t limited their enjoyment of the situation, either.

“It’s kind of surreal that he has the same name, last name,” Geovany Soto said. “It’s kind of weird calling him Gio and he’s calling me Geo. It’s kind of weird.

“With the physicals, doctors, the people for the drug testing, we’ve been confused in all three of those. I’m expecting that to happen. Hopefully I can get a big check on his name and cash it.”

The social media world isn’t alone in its enjoyment of the topic as both players smiled while discussing it on Monday.

Giovanni Soto said the players met two seasons ago when he pitched for the Cleveland Indians and the catcher was in his first stint with the White Sox. They grew up about 20 minutes apart from each other in Puerto Rico and now spend time together in the offseason. But what has made the scenario even more confusing is that White Sox prospect Lucas Giolito is seated only a few stalls away from Giovanni Soto in the clubhouse.

“It’s kind of weird, especially in the clubhouse and on the field because when someone says Geo, we turn around to see if it’s for him or for me,” Giovanni Soto said. “And we also have Giolito, and people call him Gio. It’s weird, but it’s funny too.”

Both Sotos could make the team’s Opening Day roster.

Geovany Soto, who signed a minor league contract in January, is the most experienced catcher in camp and is favored to win a job. Giovanni Soto, who was claimed off waivers from the Cubs in November, is one of several relievers competing for a spot and could make the club if the White Sox decide to carry two left-handers in the bullpen. And while Giolito is expected to start the season at Triple-A, he could reach the majors at some point causing more pandemonium.

“There’s a lot of Geo going on with Giolito, Giovanni and then me,” Geovany Soto said. “And can get pretty hectic. But yeah, it’s fun for us.”