Sale primed for season opener after final spring start
Lefty allows two runs on six hits, strikes out three over 3 2/3 innings
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Juan Nicasio no-hit the White Sox over five innings Tuesday at Camelback Ranch as the Rockies cruised to a 4-1 victory.
The only baserunners allowed by the Colorado right-hander were Adam Eaton in the first, when he reached on a wild pitch off of a swinging third strike, and a one-out walk to Alexei Ramirez in the fifth. Nicasio fanned seven, including six in the first three innings.
"I had command of my fastball down and in, and my slider was a lot better today. I threw a lot of pitches for strikes," said Nicasio, who threw 81 pitches and felt strong enough to continue but had his day halted by pitching coach Jim Wright because of a little blood from his right middle finger caused by a cut under the nail. "Jimmy saw my fingernail, a little blood, and he said, 'OK, stop. That's it.'"
Chris Sale made his final Cactus League appearance before his second straight Opening Day start on Monday at U.S. Cellular Field against the Twins and worked just 3 2/3 innings. He yielded two runs on six hits, while striking out three and not issuing a walk.
"I'm just kind of shaking off the rest of the rust before the opener," Sale said. "Just getting prepared physically and mentally for the regular season. I've been ready for a few weeks now."
Drew Stubbs opened the game with a double off of the White Sox ace, followed by DJ LeMahieu's single, a wild pitch and Michael Cuddyer's single to give the Rockies a quick 2-0 lead. Jordan Pacheco's solo homer in the fifth and Cuddyer's run-scoring double in the same frame both came off of White Sox closing candidate Nate Jones.
Eaton delivered Chicago's first hit of the game in the sixth, dropping down a bunt single along the third-base line following Chad Bettis' one-out walk to Marcus Semien. Bettis also walked Avisail Garcia to load the bases, and Conor Gillaspie just missed a grand slam to right before settling for a sacrifice fly to center. It was the first earned run and just the fourth hit in nine appearances by Bettis, who is battling for a bullpen spot.
Up next: The White Sox final 2014 Cactus League home game at Camelback Ranch features John Danks on the mound against the Reds, with Wednesday's 3:05 p.m. CT first pitch for a game to be televised on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio. Danks will make his regular-season debut out of the starting rotation's fifth spot, as announced by manager Robin Ventura on Tuesday. Scott Downs and Zach Putnam also are scheduled to pitch against Cincinnati.