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Viciedo lifts Sox over Cubs

Published: Saturday, March 16, 2013 12:22 a.m. CDT
The White Sox's Dayan Viciedo watches his grand slam off Cubs pitcher Hector Rondon in the fourth inning of a spring training game Friday in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Dayan Viciedo impressed his manager and teammates with an opposite-field grand slam to right-center field in the White Sox’s 15-3 victory over the Cubs on Friday.

“He’s special when he starts hitting the ball over there like that,” manager Robin Ventura said.

Viciedo, the 24-year-old left fielder nicknamed “Tank” for his powerful 5-foot-11, 230-pound build, drove in two more runs with a double to give him six RBIs. The only out he made was on a hard liner to first, which Ventura likes seeing. He wants Viciedo to use the whole field and not pull everything.

“We can keep him right there,” Ventura said. “I think that’s the fight you have with young guys he wants to pull everything. But somebody like him, he’s strong enough to take it over there and put up some big numbers.”

Viciedo’s slam against reliever Hector Rondon landed halfway up the lawn seating beyond the wall.

Dewayne Wise and Jordan Danks also homered, and Gavin Floyd allowed one run over 5 1/3 innings as the Sox beat their crosstown rival for the second time in two games this preseason.

Wise homered for the third time this spring, and Paul Konerko raised his average to .394 with a single and a double. Konerko also walked and scored two runs.

“Guys are getting closer, and want them feeling pretty good swinging the bat,” Ventura said. “Even though we are missing (right fielder Alex) Rios and (center fielder Alejandro) De Aza, we are still swinging it pretty good.”

Rios and De Aza, who figure to bat third and first, respectively, are playing in the World Baseball Classic. Wise and Danks have benefitted with extra playing time in the spring. Danks drove in five runs.

Floyd, an important piece in the middle of the Sox’s starting rotation, did not walk a batter and struck out five.

“Everything was working pretty good today,” Floyd said. “I threw some changeups in there that were pretty good and I was using everything, so that’s a good place to be. Working both sides of the plate. It was fun.”

Cubs starter Scott Feldman got roughed up for seven runs on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings.

Cubs catcher Donier Navarro was 2 for 3 with an RBI, and right fielder Nate Schierholtz was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Minor leaguer Andreoli hit a two-run homer against Sox right-hander Dylan Axelrod in the ninth inning. Axelrod, who gave up two runs over three innings, had allowed one run over his first eight innings.

Notes: Pitching coach Don Cooper did not rule out the possibility of Danks breaking camp in the rotation, although he said Danks (11.34 ERA) needs to progress in his final three starts of the spring. Sox C Tyler Flowers is day-to-day with a stiff back. Flowers was a late scratch in favor of Hector Gimenez. ... Sox right-hander Jesse Crain, who has made one appearance this spring because of a groin strain, must feel like a marked man. He pitched in a game (against minor leaguers) for the first time since the injury and was struck on the right hip by a line drive. Crain finished his inning and is OK, trainer Herm Schneider said.

The Sox made four cuts – RHPs Andre Rienzo and Jhan Marinez, C Josh Phegley and OF Jared Mitchell, bringing the number of players in camp to 41. Mitchell, a first-round draft pick, batted .387 with three doubles, two triples, one homer, five RBIs and nine runs scored. ... Cubs OF Brett Jackson did not play because of a sore throwing shoulder. Cubs OF prospect Albert Almora, the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft, broke his right hamate bone and will have surgery to remove it. He’ll likely be out eight weeks, manager Dale Sveum said.

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