GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A.J. Pierzynski had to work a lot harder than he expected for his third home run of the spring.
Pierzynski hit an inside-the-park home run and had two doubles in the Chicago White Sox’s 6-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night at Camelback Ranch.
Pierzynski said he thought he hit the ball hard enough for the home run to leave the park. Then he saw right fielder Justin Upton chasing after the ball that deflected off the top of the wall in center and bounced to right center. The catcher is hitting .250.
“I was thinking, ‘It’s a foot race. He’ll probably win,'” Pierzynski said.
When he hit third base, Pierzynski heard Arizona third baseman Geoff Blum, a former teammate.
“(Blum) was like, ‘You got to go, Tubby,'” Pierzynski said. “That was rather funny.
“Spring training, and it doesn’t count, but it’s nice to get some hits.”
White Sox starter Gavin Floyd gave up two runs and five hits, struck out three and walked five in six innings. Floyd made just his second Cactus League appearance. He has filled out his schedule by pitching in an intrasquad game, a simulated game to avoid a potential rainout, and a “B” game to avoid the Texas Rangers, who he’ll face in the first regular-season series.
“I’m progressing for sure,” said Floyd, who has a spring ERA of 2.70. “Couple more starts, I think I’ll definitely be where I need to be.”
The Diamondbacks’ Chris Young hit a solo home run for his third of the spring. Arizona starter Joe Saunders allowed four runs and six hits in four innings. He struck out three and walked three.
Saunders tried something different, throwing changeups to left-handed batters.
“It didn’t fare very well for me tonight,” said Saunders, who fell to 0-2 with a 9.31 ERA. “That’s a tough pitch for me, and I was trying to work on it tonight. I had two doubles and a single (off it).”
Before the game, the Diamondbacks made roster moves, most notably optioning top prospect Trevor Bauer to Double-A Mobile. Bauer, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 draft, had a 3.60 ERA in four games, including three starts.
“He was very engaged in what was going on,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “He really tried to learn. He asked questions to everybody. He asked questions to the equipment guys. He wants to learn what’s right and what’s wrong. He needs to go down there and get stretched out.”
Bauer will likely remain a starter.
“I think he’s better as games go on,” Gibson said.
Notes: In their other moves, the Diamondbacks optioned right-handed pitchers Sam Demel and Barry Enright and outfielder David Winfree to Triple-A Reno, reassigned right-handed pitcher Chris Jakubauskas and infielder Rusty Ryal to Reno, and reassigned right-handed pitcher Charles Brewer and infielder Matt Davidson to Mobile. Dan Johnson, competing for a Chicago bench job, went 3 for 3 with a double. … White Sox closer candidate Jesse Crain threw 35 pitches Friday in a side session. He’s recovering from a mild strain in his right oblique. He is scheduled to throw another session Sunday.
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