Kazmir, Quintana both strong; A’s beat White Sox 10-4
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Left-handers Scott Kazmir of Oakland and Jose Quintana of Chicago tuned up for the regular season with strong starts on Saturday, and the Athletics beat the White Sox 10-4.
Kazmir threw 81 pitches, pitching two-hit ball for 5 1-3 scoreless innings. He walked two and struck out four.
Quintana gave up six hits and two runs, one unearned, in six innings. He struck out five and walked none.
Kazmir and Quintana each will get one more start before pitching in the second game of the regular season.
Josh Phegley doubled home a run against his former team in the first. Leadoff man Billy Burns had four of Oakland’s 15 hits.
Jason Pridie homered for Oakland off Chicago’s Maikel Cleto in the eighth. Cleto, trying to win a job in the Chicago bullpen, gave up six runs on four hits and two walks while retiring just one batter in the eighth.
Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte finished up for the A’s. He threw left-handed to J.B. Shuck, the only lefty he faced, who popped up. Then Venditte threw right-handed to Jose Abreu, who singled to left, before Avisail Garcia grounded into a game-ending double play.
Athletics: Kazmir threw 81 pitches and was pleased with his outing. The first hit against him came in the fifth, when Gordon Beckham’s popup in front of home plate fell untouched in the dirt and stayed in fair territory.
“Everything was working for me,” Kazmir said. “I was able to work the fastball inside, that opened up the changeup for me away from the plate.”
“Every pitch, I have a good feel for it,” he said.
White Sox: Quintana also said he was able to throw all of his pitches. One of the few hard-hit balls was by Burns, who lined one back through the box, just missing Quintana’s head.
“I was scared. I saw the ball in front of my face,” he said.
Quintana went back out to the bullpen on a 95-degree day to throw 15 more pitches after an 86-pitch outing.
“I feel great. I threw all my stuff, fastballs in and out,” Quintana said.
Athletics: OF Alex Hassan returned to the lineup for the first time since March 11, when he left a game with a hamstring strain. He was 2 for 2.
White Sox: 1B-DH Adam LaRoche missed his second straight game with flu issues, and also has a sore back. “He’s had a couple things that have combined to slow him down,” manager Robin Ventura said.
Last season, Alexei Ramirez mostly hit second in the Chicago batting order behind Adam Eaton. This season, with Melky Cabrera set for the No. 2 spot, the All-Star shortstop may end up anywhere between fifth and seventh.
On Saturday against Kazmir, Ramirez found himself in the No. 5 spot. That could happen more frequently this season.
“He could be right behind LaRoche,” Ventura said. “There are thoughts of moving him around, being able to pick some good spots for him. He’s been swinging it great, and his patience has been good, too.”
Ramirez drove in two runs, giving him 17 RBIs this spring. Last season, the 33-year-old Cuban was second on the team with 74 RBIs.
Chicago claimed RHP Kyle Drabek on waivers from Toronto, and expect him in camp this weekend. That doesn’t give them much time to see the 27-year-old former first-round pick before the team leaves Glendale on Thursday.
“We’re going to have to look really fast,” Ventura said.
Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman pitches against Milwaukee in Mesa. One of four players acquired from Toronto for Josh Donaldson, Graveman has only permitted one run in 15 innings in the Cactus League.
White Sox: Scott Carroll starts against the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear. John Danks, the regular Chicago starter, will pitch in a minor league game in Glendale rather than face Chicago’s AL Central rivals, whom they face five times in the first 17 days of the regular season.