PEORIA, Ariz. — The sore left ankle that grounded Jose Abreu for two days is something he has never experienced before.
But after a brief rest, the first baseman is much better, and it showed in a 7-6 White Sox victory over the Seattle Mariners at Peoria Sports Complex. Abreu showed his mobility on several ground balls, even diving to his left to snare one in his first game since Friday.
“Two days really helped,” Abreu said through a translator. “The doctors and people recommend five days to take the soreness away, but it was way too much for me. I feel two days was really good, and it’s definitely helped.”
Abreu has played with ankles taped in the past, but can’t recall any issues. The White Sox think it could be any number of factors including the rock hard infields, Abreu’s strenuous workouts and orthotics he has worn for the first time this spring.
But whatever the cause, Abreu isn’t concerned.
“I’m erasing that,” Abreu said. “It’s not in my mind right now. It cannot be in my mind. We’re just excited for the season. … Right now I’m feeling really good. I have to thank the trainers.”
Rookie pitcher Erik Johnson pitched six innings in his fourth and final Cactus League start on Monday. The right-hander earned the win after he allowed three earned runs and four hits with three walks. Johnson, who struck out four and has a 6.35 spring ERA, is next scheduled to throw on Saturday when the White Sox are off. Where he will next pitch, whether it’s a simulated game in Chicago or in extended spring training, hasn’t been announced.
But Johnson thinks his effort was good for his last exhibition start.
“Today was a good one to end on and another good one to build off of,” Johnson said. “If I can put as many zeros on the board for my team, be aggressive in the strike zone early, then good things will happen for me. …It's always good to be out there for the long run, especially to go as far as you can for your team. I enjoy working with (Tyler) Flowers. Me and him, we're on the same page.”
— Paul Konerko blasted his first home run of the spring in a 2-for-3 effort. He drove in two runs.
— Dayan Viciedo went 2-for-4 with a double and a run. He’s hitting .304 this spring. Alexei Ramirez went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
— Marcus Semien also went 2-for-3 with a homer, his first. The three-run shot keyed a five-run Sox rally in the second inning.
— Zach Putnam allowed a hit over 1 2/3 scoreless innings with a strikeout. He has a 1.86 ERA this spring and is in contention for the final spot in the bullpen.