On a day when chairman Jerry Reinsdorf weighed in on the Adam LaRoche debacle, a lesser known Jerry, outfielder-first baseman Jerry Sands, hit his second and third homers of the spring to lead the White Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics in Mesa, Ariz.
With an open spot to be filled after Adam LaRoche retired, Sands is “right in the mix,” manager Robin Ventura said.
“We know he swings well against lefties, but he’s been swinging against righties too. He’s very versatile.’’
Claimed off waivers from the Indians, Sands, 29, is a career .238 hitter with nine homers in 132 games. He’s a career .292 hitter against lefties.
Minor league third baseman Matt Davidson, who can also play first base where LaRoche backed up Jose Abreu when he wasn’t the designated hitter, was 3-for-4 to raise his spring average to .483. Davidson has four homers.
Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Sanchez also had an RBI and Steve Lombardozzi had two hits.
Jacob Turner, trying to earn a spot on the roster, gave up two runs over the first two innings.
On a LaRoll
The Sox are 4-1, including three consecutive wins, since LaRoche called it quits Tuesday morning. In addition to Sands’ home runs and first-round pick Carson Fulmer’s best outing (3 1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball with four strikeouts), the Sox played an errorless game and out-hit the A’s 16-6.
Right on Q
Jose Quintana wasn’t allowed to face the A’s, whom the Sox host to open the season in two weeks, so he pitched six innings, with new catcher Alex Avila behind the plate, against Cincinnati Reds minor leaguers on the backfields at Camelback Ranch.
Quintana allowed five hits over six scoreless innings.
“He’s always been under the radar as one of the top pitchers in the American League for sure,” Avila, a former Detroit Tiger said.
“I tried to get him a little uncomfortable, maybe not throw that fastball into a righty — see if we can get him out another way and gain confidence in those things. He’s the type of guy you don’t tell him multiple times. You say it once or he gives you a suggestion and he’s able to apply it right away.’’
Sox at Indians, Goodyear, 3:05, CSN, Scott Carroll vs. Carlos Carrasco. Carlos Rodon throws for the Sox on the backfields.
Daryl Van Schouwen