Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Posted 5:00 p.m. Updated 6:06 p.m.
By Brett Ballantini
GOODYEAR, Ariz. On the positive side, Chicago White Sox starting pitchers have been lights-out so far this spring training, with Edwin Jackson mowing through the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday to extend the rotations hitless and scoreless streak to six innings.
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On the down side, the White Sox had another sloppy outing overall, rallying back to tie the game 6-6 after falling behind 5-0, but falling short, 7-6.
Chicago dropped to 0-3 on the spring.
You can see were a little bit behind at the plate, manager Ozzie Guillen said. Theyre struggling, but its early, well be fine.
The game got ugly in the fifth, when Cincinnati pushed across five runs after Gordon Beckham flubbed a potential inning-ending force out. Kyle Cofield was the victim of the five unearned runs, although he pushed the second run across with a wild pitch and later served up a massive, two-run blast to Jeremy Hermida.
Those five runs, we made one mistake, Guillen said. The kid who gave up those runs Cofield threw very well. We should have got out of the inning.
The White Sox did rally for three runs in the sixth, keyed by a Carlos Quentin RBI single. They had a chance to get right back into the game, loading the bases with none out in the seventh, but Brent Lillibridge and Brandon Short struck out before Jim Gallagher stroked a two-run single to right. A.J. Pierzynski, who collected a speeding ticket on the way to the game, came up with the bases re-loaded to face reliever Daryl Thompson and drove in the tying run with a walk.
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That was typical AJ, Guillen said. I had a bet he was going to hit a ground ball to second base.
White Sox starter Edwin Jackson looked as if he picked up right where he left off in the second half of 2010, when he was Chicagos strongest starter.
I felt good, Jackson said. Its the first game, and youre trying to get back into game mode, which is different from BP and bullpen sessions. Theres a little more adrenaline going.
Jackson stuck out the first two batters he faced and is displaying much the same confidence he did after coming over to the White Sox at last years trading deadline.
Im in a little different role than previous years, Jackson said. Coming up, I didnt have the luxury of having a set rotation spot. It was like, Get out there, you still have to battle for a position. You still have to keep the same mindframe, dont want to be too lackadaisical. You want to get your work in so youre ready when the season starts.
Continuing his lighthearted postgame talk, Guillen cornered a Reds beat writer and issued a stern warning about the Cincinnati medias Missile nickname for fireballer Aroldis Chapman.
Dont give him the Missile, Guillen said. We have the Missile Alexei Ramirez.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.