Chicago White Sox

White Sox fall short in Cactus opener

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White Sox fall short in Cactus opener

Monday, Feb. 28, 2011
Posted 4:42 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. Gavin Floyd started Mondays Cactus League opener for the Chicago White Sox, tossing two scoreless innings and briefly giving the sparse crowd at Camelback Ranch reason to believe the team would immediately string together a strong spring training record.

But in spite of four errors and a passed ball by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first three innings of play, the Chisox fell 6-3.

Floyd hit DH Xavier Paul to open the second inning, then promptly induced a 1-6-3 double play from CF Trayvon Robinson.

There are ones where you just say, Uh-oh and duck, Floyd said. I said, I have time now, just dont mess it up. I went down like a goalie to just block it. Thats what we do here in drills. I was happy not to mess it up.

I was very happy with what I saw, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. The kids came after hitters. The main thing was Gavin Floydhe threw the ball very well.

The White Sox were buried by six runs in the fourth and fifth, two coming in the fourth inning off of Tony Pena and four runs in just 23rds of the fifth off of reliever Miguel Socolovich.

Pena was a little bit off, we expect tough outings, Guillen said. So was Socolovich. But we did a lot of good things today.

Adam Dunn was punched out twice by Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, and later walked to round out his White Sox debut.

The White Sox rallied for four runs in the sixth and seventh. In the sixth, Jordan Danks stroked an opposite-field double, and in the seventh Brent Lillibridge singled in a run and Donny Lucy safetied in two.

Ozzieball in Action

Guillen was thrilled at how his team played in the Cactus League opener, citing the little things conveniently tabbed as Ozzieball as the reasons.

Mo Morel hit the ball to second base to get Alexei Ramirez over in the third, Lucy went with the ball in the dirt, all those little things.

A big element of Ozzieball is aggressiveness. On the field, there were good marks as well as bad ones in that category.

I told these guys to be ready to play from the first day all the way to the last shot, Guillen said. Lucy went in the dirt, Lucas Harrell and Brandon Short were diving for the ball. I expect those guys to do that. Theyre in spring training. Some guys got to make the team, some guys have to play that way for them to be ready. But I expect them to go out every day and play well. Win or lose, doesnt matter, but playing well in spring training, makes sure we start the right way. The only way well do that is play hard.

On the down side was an inexplicable double-steal in the top of the first. Juan Pierre (walk) and Gordon Beckham (single) had reached off a rattled Kershaw, but Pierre was caught at third on a double steal.

Juan, I hope he doesnt do that during the season, tries to steal third base in the first inning, with Dunn hitting, Guillen said, laughing. I hope its a spring training thing.

Guillen disavowed himself any responsibility for such an aggressive move, which took the air out of the inning, Dunn and Paul Konerko following with strikeouts.

I told everybody they have to run until I stop you, Guillen said. I want to see what I can get with speed. We have two guys in the middle of the lineup are not that fast, but I want to attempt to run to see who we can count on to run the bases.

Alexei Plaudits

Guillens broken record postgame centered on Ramirez, whose defense appears to be in midseason form after a delicious play deep in the hole to retire Gabe Kapler to end the fourth.

The Missile played pretty good defense, Guillen said. Besides winning this thing, my job is to promote this kid so he gets the recognition in baseball by being a complete player and dont have everybody get behind the laurels about Derek Jeter and all those guys. Its our job to get him where he should be with the Gold Gloves and All-Star Games, all that other stuff.

Unsurprisingly, Guillen sees a lot of another former White Sox shortstop in Ramirezs play.

I used to make that play, but this kid has a better arm than me, Guillen said. I had to do it a different way because my arm isnt that strong. Like I say, this kid should have a Gold Glove and All-Star guy. Hopefully we play good and give him the push he needs to be at the top. He showed us already last year how good he is. Its my job now to let everybody know how good he is.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

White Sox prospect Carson Fulmer leaves games early, expected to make next start

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USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Carson Fulmer leaves games early, expected to make next start

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carson Fulmer left Tuesday night's game early but he should be back on the mound again in time for his next start.

The Triple-A Charlotte pitcher exited in the top of the sixth inning with a cramp in his right leg, Knights manager Mark Grudzielanek said. Fulmer informed the staff he had cramped up in the third inning and received treatment. He returned to the mound but had to exit again in the sixth. The Knights lost 5-3 to the Toledo MudHens in 10 innings at BB&T Ballpark.

“He just cramped up. It was a hot night and it was his push-off leg,” Grudzielanek said. “His actions, he was feeling it so we got him out of there.

“He was a cramping up a few innings, probably the end of the third he came in a little tight, worked him out, hydrated him and tried to get him feeling a little better, loosened him up. He looked good in the fourth but it came back after the fifth.”

“Absolutely, he’ll be fine. It was cramps. It wasn’t anything other than that. You get better, you move on and he’ll make his next start and be ready to go like he always does.”

[MORE: Why White Sox prospect Lucas Giolito feels as good as he has all season

Fulmer moved on after a slow first inning cost him three runs. The right-hander yielded a three-run homer to ex-Cubs prospect Jeimer Candelario in the first inning, one of three first-inning hits Fulmer allowed. But Fulmer, the team’s first-round pick in 2015, settled down and retired 10 straight batters.

Fulmer is 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA in 24 starts this season.

“He hung some pitches and got behind a little bit and when that happens you put some runners on, put a good swing on it and it leaves the park,” Grudzielanek said. “He understands the consequences when you get behind hitters.

“He looked good after that. He’s working his offspeed pitches. I thought he threw for strikes earlier in the counts and got ahead of some of the hitters and had some rollouts and some easy fly balls and he was a different pitcher there for four or five innings.”

Jacob May belly-flops for insane catch

Jacob May belly-flops for insane catch

Jacob May's time with the White Sox wasn't how he envisioned his first stint in the majors going, but the outfielder sure had a play to be proud of on Tuesday in Triple-A Charlotte.

May went full extension on a diving catch in the sixth inning of Tuesday's game against Toledo. He robbed Jason Krizan of extra bases and an RBI with the eye-popping catch.

Watch the catch in the video above.

May, who went 2-for-36 in the majors to open this season, also had a solid day at the plate going 1-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a walk. The 25-year-old is hitting .246 with a .304 on-base percentage for the Knights this season.

The Knights lost the game in 10 innings after Carson Fulmer started.