A.J. Pierzynski made his displeasure about being snubbed from Ron Washington’s AL All-Star team perfectly clear, and his teammates were none too pleased either. Tonight, the White Sox exacted a little revenge, drubbing the Rangers 19-2.
It was the Rangers’ most lopsided defeat during Washington’s term at the helm. In fact, they hadn’t lost so badly since the A’s beat them 23-2 in 2000.
Pierzynski hit one of four White Sox homers and finished 3-for-5 with three RBI.
The White Sox’s first three homers all came off Roy Oswalt in the first inning, with Kevin Youkilis, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios going deep. Oswalt ended up allowing 11 runs — nine earned — in 4 2/3 innings in one of the worst outings of his career. Pierzynski’s homer came off Yoshinori Tateyama.
Chris Sale cruised to an easy win for the White Sox, allowing one run in 7 1/3 innings. He’s expected to have his turn skipped Sunday as the team tries to keep his innings total down. As a result, he’ll head into his All-Star appearance 10-2 with a 2.19 ERA.
Pierzynski now has 15 homers on the year. It’s his highest total since 2006 and just three off his career high. With 48 RBI in 69 games, he’s already matched his total his 2011 total in 60 fewer games.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.