GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Yes, the White Sox have played only six Cactus League games.And yes, the offense in Arizona doesn't matter much once the first pitch is thrown in Oakland on April 4. For the White Sox to score 34 runs over their past four games, though, matters to a
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Yes, the White Sox have played only six Cactus League games.
And yes, the offense in Arizona doesn't matter much once the first pitch is thrown in Oakland on April 4. For the White Sox to score 34 runs over their past four games, though, matters to a team that didn't hit last spring and then didn't hit at all during the regular season.
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"Especially when you have a group of guys that has to gel pretty much in one year," said White Sox shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who had three hits in a 10-6 victory over the Brewers on Tuesday at Camelback Ranch. "We all know what's on the line, putting together a team that's trying to win now. It's our only chance. We have to make the most of it."
"We're on our way. We have to do it right now," said White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia, who also knocked out three hits. "We have to start now and for me, it's important to win right now. Once you start winning, you have the feeling, you can trust the other guys. We have to work and have fun. We have to be ready for the season."
Garcia stands as a prime example as to why Spring Training success really does count for this offense. The Sunday addition of free-agent outfielder Austin Jackson certainly could cut into Garcia's playing time.
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Last season was not a good one for Garcia, but he is 24, with one full season under his belt, and worked hard leading up to the 2016 campaign. That work included changing his approach at the plate.
"I've put my hands closer to the strike zone, because last year it was up top," said Garcia, giving an example as he sat at his chair in the home clubhouse. "Now I moved it a little bit down so it'll be closer to the strike zone. When I was up, it was too far away."
Tuesday's results featured a two-run triple into right-center off Chase Anderson in the first and a monster two-run home run to left in the second that cleared the back fence at Camelback Ranch. John Danks, who started for the White Sox, said Garcia's homer was the longest he had seen at the ballpark.
Danks isn't analyzing this early offensive output behind him too deeply, an output that features 12 home runs hit by 12 players.
"I'd take 10 [runs] every time," Danks said. "It's fun to watch them go up there and hit and it seems like it was just one right after another."
"We've been winning and scoring runs so that's a good way to start," said Rollins, who had an opposite-field homer Tuesday. "Get in a groove and try to make it a common thing around here."
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.