Left-hander allows two hits in 4 1/3 scoreless innings; Danks homers in seventh
PHOENIX -- Jeff Keppinger's fielder's choice ground ball in the ninth inning drove in the tie-breaking run and lifted the White Sox to a 6-3 victory over the Brewers before a crowd of 4,729 Monday afternoon at Maryvale Baseball Park.
Jared Mitchell slid into home ahead of the tag and was called safe, but Brewers manager Ron Roenicke asked the umpires to review the play. After less than a minute, the umpires signaled that their ruling would stand. Andy Wilkins followed with a two-run single for the final margin.
The game was scoreless until the seventh, when Jordan Danks launched a two-run homer off Johnny Hellweg. The Sox were up 3-1 in the eighth, but Adam Weisenburger tied it with a two-run homer off Eric Surkamp.
Neither starting pitcher allowed a run. Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo yielded two hits over 3 1/3 innings, while Chicago's Chris Sale, named the club's Opening Day starter earlier on Monday, allowed two hits and struck out three over 4 1/3 frames.
The White Sox threatened in the first, seemingly primed to take advantage of a poor showing by the Brewers' defense. Chicago had the bases loaded due in part to an error by third baseman Aramis Ramirez, playing in just his third game of the spring. That play was preceded by a long fly ball that hit off right fielder Sean Halton's glove, which was ruled a double.
But Gallardo yielded one hit through the remainder of his outing, exiting after coaxing a ground ball from Adam Dunn to begin the fourth.
"Things like that [errors] are going to happen in the regular season," Gallardo said. "There's not much I can do about it. I just have to keep making pitches. That was big for me to get out of that inning without allowing any runs. With second and third and one out -- just make pitches."
The Brewers weren't able to do much with Sale, who induced seven groundouts among the 15 batters he faced. The Brewers didn't have a baserunner get past first base until the sixth, when pinch-runner Kevin Mattison stole second.
The Brewers scored their first run in the seventh behind an RBI single by Halton.
Up next:John Danks isn't sure how many innings or pitches he'll throw on Tuesday against the Rangers at Camelback Ranch for a 3:05 p.m. CT first pitch on an exclusive whitesox.com webcast. But he will be on the mound for Cactus League start No. 2. Nate Jones also will make a relief appearance, while Paul Konerko returns to the lineup following a two-game break.