Ishikawa leads White Sox past former team
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Travis Ishikawa, Avisail Garcia and Todd Frazier each homered, hiking the Sox’ spring training best long-ball total to 42, in a 13-9 Cactus League victory against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.
Garcia hit his fourth while Frazier and Ishikawa each connected for a second time. Frazier also tripled and drove in three runs. Nineteen players have chipped in to the home run total for the Sox, who are 13-12-1.
Ishikawa pushing hard to the finish
Ishikawa, the former Giants walk-off playoff hero who is trying to make the Sox consider him for an Opening Day roster spot, also tripled in three runs and doubled to the fence against his old team to finish with five RBI. As a left-handed hitter (who can also play the outfield in a pinch) Ishikawa, 32, who carries a .255/.321/.391 major league slash line, is batting .289 this spring and profiles as a suitable replacement for designated hitter and first baseman Adam LaRoche.
But general manager Rick Hahn said a lefty-hitting first baseman isn’t a prerequisite for the 25th spot, which could go to Carlos Sanchez, Jerry Sands, Leury Garcia, Ishikawa or possibly a 13th pitcher. Third baseman Matt Davidson is having a very good spring but the Sox probably want to see him do more of the same over an extended length of playing time at AAA Charlotte.
“Obviously [Ishikawa] gives you a big league at-bat and gives you some versatility,’’ Hahn said. “There’s a fair amount of guys in the mix. It’s good to have some options early. You want to leave with the 25 best and be in the best position to win early but at the same time no team goes through an entire season without making an adjustment. It’s good to have depth.’’
Dan the long man?
Lefty Dan Jennings could be used a long reliever, although his outing late Saturday night wasn’t encouraging. Jennings gave up consecutive homers to lefty hitters. “He needs to locate better,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “He has to go in and do that job and eat some innings for us.’’
Clean it up
The Sox made two errors, on throws by shortstop Jimmy Rollins and minor league outfielder Jacob May. The Giants stole two bases on pitcher Mat Latos and catcher minor league catcher Omar Narvaez, and Latos committed a balk.
Rule 5 guy Smith returns
The Sox accepted back right-hander Blake Smith from the Padres after he cleared waivers. Smith, 28, a second round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009, was taken from the Sox in the Rule 5 Draft in December. He’ll report to minor league camp.
Rockies vs. White Sox, Scottsdale, 3:05, CSN. Jordan Dykes vs. John Danks