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Luis Robert homer in ninth lifts White Sox past Rangers

Sox 8, Rangers 5

A bomb for Robert

On Friday in Surprise, Arizona, center-field prospect Luis Robert entered in the sixth inning and tripled off the wall in right-center. Then, with the Sox down to their last strike, he hit a three-run homer over the foul pole in left.

Robert, who has six RBI, two triples and a homer this spring, has paid special attention to hitting breaking balls in camp. He connected on a slider from Tim Dillard.

“Yes, of course it feels great,” Robert said. “When you hit a homer to help the team win, it is good. I did it last year with the grand slam against the Reds. It was a special feeling. I enjoy it.”

Prospect watch II

Eloy Jimenez roped a double past Asdrubal Cabrera at third, flied to the warning track in center for the second time this spring and struck out for the fifth time in four games. Nick Madrigal (1-for-3) singled sharply to left and bobbled a double-play grounder for an error. Steele Walker had a pinch-hit, ground-rule double ahead of Robert’s homer. The Sox (2-5-1) have six triples this spring: Robert (2), Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Leury Garcia and Charlie Tilson.

Nova gets down and dirty

Featuring a new changeup grip, Sox veteran right-hander Ivan Nova was pleased with his first outing, which included six groundouts from his nine batters.

“How many? Good,” Nova said of the ground-ball count. “Unbelievable. You want to work down in the zone. You don’t want to give up homers.”

That’s better

Nate Jones bounced back from a rough first outing by striking out Cabrera, Matt Davidson and Willie Calhoun after allowing sharp singles to Elvis Andrus and Nomar Mazara.

On deck

Rockies at Sox, Glendale, 2:05 p.m. Saturday, whitesox.com, Antonio Senzatela vs. Carlos Rodon.

— Daryl Van Schouwen