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Leury Garcia And Bullpen Key To White Sox Earning Second Spring Training Win
- Updated: March 1, 2017
The Chicago White Sox turnaround Tuesday afternoon to earn their second win of the Spring could be attributed as much to their bats as their resilience. In overcoming a four-run deficit of 5-1 after just two innings in the Cactus League split-squad game from Goodyear, Arizona, to complete a come from behind 10-9 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, the Sox showed that they can be down, but never out.
After the Reds offense came out swinging with a quick 4-0 lead in the opening frame, which was fueled by a two-run homer onto the right-center concourse by designated hitter Ryan Raburn, as well as scoring another run in the second inning, they weren’t able to score a run again until the ninth inning.
The White Sox had a few key factors go their way in being able to complete the comeback. One being the bullpen combination of Zach Putnam, Giovanni Soto, Tyler Danish, and Michael Ynoa shutting down the Reds for five innings after a rough 1 1/3 innings for starter Reynaldo Lopez, allowing five runs on four hits and a walk.
Leury Garcia’s huge performance at the plate being the other key factor.
With projected starting center fielder Charlie Tilson currently out, Leury is fighting with non-roster invitee Peter Bourjos to possibly earn the center field spot on the team come Opening Day. Both played pretty solid in the outfield, but Leury really came through with his bat. He had the biggest hits of the game for the Sox by lacing a two-run double in the top of the fifth to bring them to within a run. Then later hitting an RBI double to left-center in the seventh to solidfy a two-run lead for the club. While Bourjos only went one-for-three in the leadoff spot for the Sox’s other split-squad game in which they lost 8-1 to the Seattle Mariners.
Overall, Leaury went three-for-four with a run, four RBIs, and a stolen base to raise his average to .300 in 10 at-bats this spring. While by going only one-for-three in the Sox other split-squad game, Bourjos raised his average to a somewhat decent .286 average in just seven at-bats.
If the Sox expect to get more from the center field position this season, they’re going to need more types of performances like the one Leury had on Tuesday afternoon. Even with him being injured, Tilson is probably still the favorite to be the starting center fielder come Opening Day, if he can return back from injury.