Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Sky-high confident Jimenez homers in win

Special to MLB.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The legend of Chicago White Sox uber outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez keeps growing.

One day after belting a pinch two-run homer against the Chicago Cubs, his former team, Jimenez homered in his first at-bat Sunday in the White Sox 6-5 victory over the D-backs at Camelback Ranch.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The legend of Chicago White Sox uber outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez keeps growing.

One day after belting a pinch two-run homer against the Chicago Cubs, his former team, Jimenez homered in his first at-bat Sunday in the White Sox 6-5 victory over the D-backs at Camelback Ranch.

Jimenez drove a Patrick Corbin fastball out to right-center for a home run.

"I felt confident," Jimenez said through an interpreter. "During the game, I just put into play what I was working on this morning. "

White Sox Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule

Jimenez missed nearly two weeks of Spring Training with a sore left knee before coming back Saturday. Jimenez said he was not surprised he came back slugging.

"I believe in myself," Jimenez said. "When I'm playing, I know I can do this."

In his second at-bat, he was held to a triple.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"I know my knee is better," Jimenez said about legging out the three-bagger.

The Diamondbacks walked Jimenez in the fifth inning, and he was removed for a pinch-runner.

Jimenez, a 21-year-old right-handed hitter from the Dominican Republic, is likely ticketed to start the season with Double-A Birmingham in the Southern League. He has been in camp to this point, but could be sent to the Minor League camp before the week ends.

"I don't think about that," Jimenez said. "Whatever they decide with me, that's good. I don't like to put that on my mind."

MLB ranks Jimenez as the No. 1 prospect in the White Sox organization, and fourth overall in baseball.

No one would be shocked that if Jimenez stays healthy, that he could be in Chicago before the season ends.

"There was drama," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said of Jimenez's home run against the Cubs. "Listen, there's some expectations, some enthusiasm, it was pretty impressive."

Plus, Jimenez is solid defensively, making a couple of running catches in the first inning against the D-backs.

"I don't have any question about his ability to defend," Renteria said. "I never have. He's got the ability to play the outfield, absolutely."

Lopez has strong start

White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez had an impressive start against the D-backs. He threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowed three hits, walked two and struck out one.

"I'm feeling much better with every outing," Lopez said through an interpreter. "My arm is getting prepared and ready also with each outing. I feel good. I'm in good shape right now."

Video: ARI@CWS: Lopez on his outing, emergence of Jimenez

He worked out of a dicey situation in the first inning. Jarrod Dyson led off the game with a single, before Lopez retired the next two Diamondbacks. Christian Walker then singled and Alex Avila walked to load the bases. Lopez escaped with no damage as Nick Ahmed flied out to end the inning.

"I like to have all those situations now," Lopez said. "I'm glad they're happening now, so during the regular season when those situations arise, I'll be prepared."

Injury updates

Left-fielder Nicky Delmonico, partial left shoulder subluxation, and shortstop Tyler Saladino, concussion protocol, left after colliding in the seventh inning during Sunday's game. They will be further evaluated Monday.

Non-roster invitee Jeanmar Gomez has been sidelined with right shoulder soreness. Gomez had pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings this spring.

Camp battle

Bullpen candidate Chris Beck did not give up a hit in 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out one and walked one. Beck has appeared in 82 games with the White Sox the past two years, and is back as a non-roster invitee.

Up next

White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease will start Monday night against the Mariners in Peoria, Ariz at 6:40 p.m. MST. Seattle will counter with left-hander Marco Gonzales. Watch the game live on MLB.TV.

Alan Eskew is a contributor to MLB.com.

Chicago White Sox, Eloy Jimenez