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Homer vs. Cubs will be tough to beat for White Sox’ Eloy Jimenez

Eloy Jimenez homers against the Cubs last March. (John Antonoff/For the Sun-Times)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Eloy Jimenez’s pinch-hit home run against the Cubs in Mesa last March might have been the highlight of the entire spring for the White Sox.

It was a big deal for Jimenez, who had badgered manager Rick Renteria into letting him get into the game against the team that traded him.

“It was amazing for me,” Jimenez said of his blast to right-center field against Cory Mazzoni that put the Sox in front in the eighth inning of a game that ended in a tie.

When the Sox play the Cubs on Sunday in Mesa, there’s a good chance Jimenez, who did not play against the Rockies on Saturday, will be in the lineup. Jimenez has been starting in left field every other day, a normal routine this early in spring training. Whatever happens, it will be hard to top what happened last year.

“Yeah, I remember,’’ Jimenez said. “The first pitches were fastballs and after, he tried to come in with a curveball, and I hit it on my barrel.’’

Jimenez and Dylan Cease came to the Sox for Jose Quintana in a trade that looks good for the Sox, although Jimenez and Cease haven’t reached the majors yet. MLB Pipeline ranks Jimenez and Cease Nos. 3 and 21, respectively, among prospects.

Jimenez has no hard feelings.

“I understand,’’ Jimenez said. “This is a business. They needed a pitcher. They ask for Quintana and I was in that trade and I feel good now about it.’’

Jimenez hasn’t gone deep yet this spring. He’s 2-for-11 with five strikeouts in four games.

Adolfo shows off power

In his first at-bat of the spring, outfielder Micker Adolfo homered against hard-throwing righty Thyago Vieira in an intrasquad game on the back field. Then he homered in his fourth at-bat against prospect Luis Martinez.

Adolfo, who had Tommy John surgery in July, resumed hitting in late January and has been throwing for a few weeks. Before Saturday, he had been taking live batting practice.

“Good start to spring training,’’ Adolfo said. “I’m definitely feeling good. I just have to keep working on some things and getting better. The work is not done.’’

Limited to DH duty because of the torn ulnar collateral ligament, Adolfo posted a .282/.369/.464 slash line with 11 home runs and 50 RBI for advanced Class A Winston-Salem. Baseball America touts the 6-3, 225-pound 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic as the No. 6 prospect in the organization.

Adolfo is in the third week of a throwing program.

Cease nearing first game

Cease threw 23 pitches in a simulated game and will pitch in his first game soon, he said.

The Sox are easing Cease, ranked 38th by Baseball America and 21st by MLB Pipeline among prospects, into the season.

“Sometimes the process gets a little tedious, but that’s anything in life,” Cease said.


Video report: What we learned from third week

Moncada looking for some action at third

This and that

Outfielder Brandon Guyer is nursing a sore right (throwing) elbow and is limited to hitting only.

Daniel Palka (hamstring) played in the intrasquad game, his first game action since Sunday.