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From sitting to hot hitting: 3 more hits for Avi Garcia in White Sox spring win

 

WHITE SOX 5, DODGERS 2

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Two big innings early and a lot of pitching all day long led the White Sox to a 5-2 Cactus League victory over the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch on Saturday in Glendale, Ariz.

Sitting up straight

Garcia definitely has a handle on his bat this spring.

Since getting pulled from Wednesday’s game for not running hard, right-fielder Avi Garcia has looked like the best hitter in the Cactus League.

The 2016 All-Star is 6-for-8 with four extra-base hits since then. That included a 3-for-4 day against the Dodgers on Saturday, with two doubles and two runs scored. He’s 13-for-37 (.351) this spring with a home run and .936 OPS.

Gonzalez impressive

Fourth-starter Miguel Gonzalez pitched into the sixth inning in his best Cactus League outing of the spring.

The lone walk he surrendered, to Yasmani Grandal leading off the fourth, proved costly when Chase Utley followed two batters later by lining a homer to right.

They were the only two runs allowed by the right-hander, who struck out four, including Angelo Mora leading off the sixth. When Grandal followed Mora with a single, Gonzalez’ outing was over.

Volstad keeps rolling

Chris Volstad, the former first-rounder and failed starter, appears to be closing in on a bullpen job, pitching another scoreless outing.

In his most efficient work of the spring, the right-hander got an inning-ending double-play grounder from the first batter he faced, in the sixth, then pitched a 1-2-3 seventh – opening the inning with back-to-back strikeouts of Utley and Trayce Thompson before getting another grounder.

He hasn’t allowed a run in 11 Cactus League innings this spring, spanning seven appearances.

Rare RBI for Abreu

Jose Abreu’s run-scoring grounder with men at the corners and nobody out opened the scoring in a three-run first.

Then capped the scoring in a two-run second with a two-out single to drive home Garcia from second.

He increased his spring RBI total by 50 percent in those two innings (now with six).

Finishing touch?

Potential closer Nate Jones gave up a walk and a hit to the first two batters he faced, then got a double-play grounder and struck out Mora to produce another scoreless inning.

He hasn’t allowed a run this spring.

On deck: White Sox at Athletics, Mesa, Ariz., James Shields vs. Jesus Luzardo, 3:05 p.m. Sunday.