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Griffin makes statement in rotation bid vs. Sox

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger and @scottmerkin

SURPRISE, Ariz. --. Right-hander A.J. Griffin made a strong statement in his quest for a spot in the Rangers rotation by pitching four scoreless innings in a 5-1 victory Saturday over the White Sox.

Griffin gave up a double to designated hitter Jose Abreu and a single to hot-hitting infielder Tyler Saladino. He did not walk a batter and struck out four while throwing 46 pitches, including 33 for strikes.

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SURPRISE, Ariz. --. Right-hander A.J. Griffin made a strong statement in his quest for a spot in the Rangers rotation by pitching four scoreless innings in a 5-1 victory Saturday over the White Sox.

Griffin gave up a double to designated hitter Jose Abreu and a single to hot-hitting infielder Tyler Saladino. He did not walk a batter and struck out four while throwing 46 pitches, including 33 for strikes.

View Full Game Coverage

"I don't know about a statement but you hear about little things going on," Griffin said. "I wanted to go out and execute my game plan. I went after guys. I had been falling behind guys the last few times so I got ahead today and when you do that, good things happen."

Video: CWS@TEX: Gallo doubles to right, further extends lead

Right-hander Dylan Covey, the Rule 5 draft pick from the Athletics, allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings as he continues to try to win a job on the White Sox pitching staff. He pitched two scoreless before giving up three in the third. The big hits in the inning came with two outs on a run-scoring by Mike Napoli and a two-run single by Joey Gallo.

Saladino was 2-for-3 for the White Sox as he continues to try and win the second base job. He now has nine hits in 21 at-bats in Cactus League games.

Video: CWS@TEX: Saladino drives a double to right field

White Sox Up Next: It's a rare day-night doubleheader for the White Sox on Sunday, with both games being played at Camelback Ranch. The White Sox are the home team in the afternoon, playing host to Texas for a 2:05 p.m. CT first pitch with Michael Kopech on the mound. They become the visitors at night against the Dodgers, with a 9:05 p.m. CT first pitch and Derek Holland getting the start. The game against the Rangers will be on MLB.TV.

Rangers Up Next: Veteran first baseman James Loney and third baseman Will Middlebrooks will be in the lineup when the Rangers play the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. They are both in camp on Minor League contracts trying to win a spot on the Rangers bench. The game will be shown live on MLB.TV.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook.

Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers