White Sox start top lineup, lose 11-2

Yoelqui Cespedes homers again, Brandon Finnegan tosses two perfect innings.

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Prospect Yoelqui Cespedes bats during the White Sox’ Cactus League game against the Cleveland Guardians Saturday.

Prospect Yoelqui Cespedes bats during the White Sox’ Cactus League game against the Cleveland Guardians Saturday.

Daryl Van Schouwen/Sun-Times

GUARDIANS 11, SOX 2

Top lineup silent

Manager Tony La Russa started most of his regulars, who produced two singles in two passes through the batting order, Leury Garcia’s line single to right and Tim Anderson’s infield single. The Guardians plated nine runs in the fourth against A-ball right-hander McKinley Moore and Double-A lefty Zach Muckenhirn. Center fielder Luis Robert tried helping with diving and sliding attempts that were unsuccessful.

Anderson made the play of the game, throwing out Luke Maile from the hole, getting an assist on Jose Abreu’s scoop.

Another homer for Cespedes

Playing in his first major league camp, Cuban outfield prospect Yoelqui Cespedes homered in the eighth inning, his second long ball in two games.

“I am so happy because I never thought I could play this year in spring training,” an elated Cespedes said. “And then I’m playing with the big leagues. Right now, I feel so good.”

Finnegan gets a look

Non-roster invitee Brandon Finnegan, 28, hoping to provide left-handed pitching depth to the 40-man roster, started and pitched two perfect innings with four groundouts. Finnegan, who pitched in the 2014 World Series four months after the Royals drafted him in the first round, owns a 4.11 career ERA but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2018. He made 31 starts for the Reds in 2016, posting a 3.98 ERA.

First appearance for Velasquez

Vince Velasquez, searching for the success he enjoyed his first two seasons with the Astros and Phillies, is slated for his first start Sunday. Velasquez signed a $3 million, one-year deal this week.

“He’s going to be a big part of what we do,” pitching coach Ethan Katz said.

“The stuff, the ability has always been there from Day 1,” Katz said.

On deck

Sox at Rockies, Scottsdale, 3:05 p.m., Sunday, Vince Velasquez vs. Ryan Feltner

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