SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In a matchup of starting pitchers coming back from serious injuries, the offense grabbed the spotlight.
Adam Eaton had four hits, Aaron Hill added three, Eric Chavez knocked in three runs, and A.J Pollack homered and drove in two runs in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 11-9 victory over the White Sox on Saturday
Starting pitchers Brandon McCarthy of the Diamondbacks, and the Sox’s John Danks struggled, but their spring training numbers aren’t the main concern now.
McCarthy is coming back from a skull fracture and other head and brain injuries, sustained in September when the 6-foot-7 pitcher was struck by a line drive off the bat of Los Angeles Angel infielder Eric Aybar.
On Saturday, his third outing of the spring, McCarthy went three innings against his former club, allowing four runs and seven hits, and striking out one.
“I was kind of out of sync. I just didn’t feel like mechanically it was great,” McCarthy said. “If it was the regular season there are some things I might do differently. It wouldn’t be an acceptable outing in the regular season.”
Because of left shoulder problems and season-ending surgery in August, Danks pitched in only nine games in 2012 – the last on May 19. The 28-year-old made his second spring start Saturday.
The lefty allowed four runs – three earned – seven hits and two walks. He struck out two in his 21/3 innings and threw pain free.
“It is still a work in progress,” Danks said. “I wasn’t throwing as hard as I anticipate throwing before it is all said and done, but I threw all four pitches and there weren’t any restraints.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t look at results. In the grand scheme of things, the most important thing was just going out there and being healthy.”
Arizona’s six-run, seven-hit fourth inning gave the Diamondbacks the lead for good. The 11 runs and 17 hits both were the most they have had this spring.
“We had a lot of good hitting,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. “I wanted to get my lefties against lefties. That is why I DH-ed Hinske, and I had Chavey (Eric Chavez) in there.”
Tony Sipp pitched a scoreless inning for the victory. Rommie Lewis threw a perfect ninth to earn the save.
Matt Thornton gave up six runs and five hits, and got only two outs in the loss.
Paul Konerko went 2 for 3 with a three-run home run, and Josh Bell added a two-run shot for the Sox.
Notes: The Diamondbacks will play a “B’’ game today against the San Francisco Giants. Among the pitchers scheduled to throw is Josh Booty. Booty is in camp after his win on the reality show “The Knuckler.” Under the tutelage of former knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield, contestants learned how to throw the pitch. The hurler deemed to have the best knuckler was allowed to participate in the Diamondbacks’ training camp. Booty also has been throwing a fastball, which tops off at about 89 mph. ... Konerko extended his streak of getting a hit to eight at-bats with a leadoff single in the second inning. It ended in the third when center fielder Eaton made a diving catch of Konerko’s sinking line drive.