GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Cactus League contest between the White Sox and A's on Wednesday afternoon at Camelback Ranch could have featured a potential Opening Day pitching matchup in Oakland between Chris Sale and Sonny Gray.But Sale got work done earlier in the day, throwing 65 pitches on the back
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Cactus League contest between the White Sox and A's on Wednesday afternoon at Camelback Ranch could have featured a potential Opening Day pitching matchup in Oakland between Chris Sale and Sonny Gray.
But Sale got work done earlier in the day, throwing 65 pitches on the back fields of Camelback Ranch in a simulated game, leaving Gray to make his Cactus League debut. Gray didn't disappoint, throwing three strong innings in a 12-3 Oakland victory.
Gray allowed one earned run on three hits while striking out four and walking one. The White Sox scored in the second off of Gray when Avisail Garcia's single brought home Todd Frazier, who had doubled to open the frame. Chicago notched two more runs, scoring on an error and a sacrifice fly, in the eighth off Ryan Doolittle.
Oakland got to White Sox starter Jacob Turner for five earned runs on six hits over 2 2/3 innings. Every Oakland starter had at least one hit except Billy Butler, with Danny Valencia, Stephen Vogt and one-time White Sox catcher Josh Phegley knocking out two apiece and Sam Fuld notching three. Andrew Lambo and Matt Chapman hit their second spring homers, while infield prospects Chad Pinder and Joey Wendle each scored two runs.
"Command-wise, he was a little off," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Turner. "It didn't start out good. They got a bunch of guys on base, but I think command, he's been better. Everybody today, we've had better command. They swung pretty good, too.
"He had a little more life on then he did the last time. Again, when you are dealing with command, you have to be able to jump ahead. Even Dioner [Navarro] when we were out at the mound, just talking about him needing to get ahead, and he just wasn't able to do that."
Felix Doubront threw three scoreless innings and struck out six for the A's, while Sean Doolittle pitched a scoreless seventh and struck out the side. Oakland scored in all but the eighth inning.
Up next for White Sox: The White Sox have split-squad action, with part of the team taking the trip to Surprise, Ariz., to take on the Rangers and the other part staying back at Camelback Ranch for another contest against the defending World Series champion Royals. Jose Quintana gets the start in Surprise, while top prospect Carson Fulmer gets his second chance in two starts against the Royals. In fact, Fulmer and Kansas City's Ian Kennedy, Thursday's scheduled starters, both also started Saturday's game. Both contests begin at 2:05 p.m. CT, with the Royals game featuring a whitesox.com webcast.
Up next for A's: The A's are set to host the Dodgers at Hohokam Stadium on Thursday with lefty Rich Hill on the mound. Oakland's top pitching prospect, Sean Manaea, is also expected to make an appearance in the Cactus League matchup, which is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. PT. The game will feature an athletics.com webcast.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.