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Ivan Nova sharp, Leury Garcia stays hot with 4 hits, homer for White Sox

Sox 12, Rangers 2

Leury a ‘Cactus’ legend

Super-utility man Leury Garcia heaped more onto his big spring by going 4-for-4, including an opposite-field home run against Rangers starter Jason Hammel, as the Sox (8-16-2) snapped a six-game losing streak Thursday in Glendale. For good measure, Garcia stole a base. Garcia, who was in left field, has played six positions this spring and is batting .432 with a homer, three doubles and a triple.

Oppo tacos for two

Ivan Nova strikes out Nolan Fontana, one of five Ks for the right-hander over 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball. (Daryl Van Schouwen)

Yonder Alonso homered for the fifth time, tying him with Phillip Ervin for the Cactus League lead. He went the opposite way against Hammel for his third homer to left. Jose Abreu (.354), the other half of the Sox’ first base/designated hitter platoon, had two hits, including a two-run double, and three RBI to raise his Cactus League-leading total to 17.

Ivan Nova, strike-thrower

Right-hander Ivan Nova retired the first 13 batters he faced, finished with five strikeouts and no walks and allowed one unearned run in 5‰ innings. Nova (4.50 ERA) likely will pitch the last day here Tuesday in the second of two exhibitions against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

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Nova located on both sides of the plate and stayed down in the zone. He has not walked a hitter in 15„ spring innings and has struck out 12.

“I’m ready to go right now,” he said. “I told you guys [after his previous start] I’m ready to go.”

Nova threw 78 pitches, 52 for strikes.

Relief!

It was a solid day for the Sox’ top relievers. Kelvin Herrera and left-hander Jace Fry (two strikeouts) each pitched a scoreless inning, and Alex Colome retired the only batter he faced in relief of Herrera before going to the bullpen for more work.

On deck

Sox at Angels, Tempe, 3:10 p.m. Friday, NBCSCH, Carlos Rodon vs. Trevor Cahill.