Yermin Mercedes, Andrew Vaughn homer in White Sox’ Cactus League win over Indians

Class AAA catcher Yermin Mercedes belted a grand slam, a 400-foot plus shot to go with his even longer homer blast against the Dodgers Monday, to erase a 3-0 deficit.

SHARE Yermin Mercedes, Andrew Vaughn homer in White Sox’ Cactus League win over Indians
Nick Madrigal grounds out during the White Sox game against the Indians Friday at Camelback Ranch.

Nick Madrigal grounds out during the White Sox game against the Indians Friday at Camelback Ranch.

Daryl Van Schouwen/Sun-Times

SOX 8, INDIANS 3

Driving, a Mercedes

Class AAA catcher Yermin Mercedes belted a grand slam, a 400-foot-plus shot to go with his even longer blast against the Dodgers on Monday, to erase a 3-0 deficit. Mercedes connected against non-roster invitee Jared Robinson. While he hasn’t distinguished himself defensively, Mercedes is 5-for-9 in five games. He’s pushing for a roster spot as a third catcher.

No. 3 overall draft pick Andrew Vaughn homered to left. Vaughn is also having a good start to the spring with a double, homer and two walks in eight plate appearances. Fellow first-rounder Nick Madrigal went 0-for-3. He’s 2-for-12 with no strikeouts.

Dunning’s first live BP

Dane Dunning, acquired from the Nationals along with Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in the Adam Eaton trade, threw his first live batting-practice session as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Dunning faced Yoan Moncada and some minor-leaguers.

“That was full-go; I was getting after it,” Dunning said. “It was a controlled hard, but, yes, everything was full-go. It’s like that hump I just got over. It’s exciting for me because I know games are coming soon.”

On a day when Michael Kopech — who is ahead of Dunning in his return from TJ surgery — had another encouraging showing moments before Dunning threw, pitching coach Don Cooper felt great about what lies ahead.

“Michael and Dunning are throwing the ball well,” Cooper said. “Had you not known right this second they were injured, you wouldn’t know.”

On the mound

The Sox (4-2-1) used all minor-league and non-roster-invitee pitchers. Right-hander Brady Lail struck out three over two scoreless innings. Zack Burdi pitched a scoreless inning with a walk and a strikeout.

On deck

Sox at Rangers, Surprise, 2:05 p.m. Saturday, Drew Anderson vs. Jonathan Hernandez. After lefty prospect Bernardo Flores on Sunday, regulars will get starts. Dallas Keuchel on Monday vs. the Padres, Reynaldo Lopez on Tuesday vs. the A’s and Dylan Cease on Wednesday at the Brewers.

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