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Chicago (8-13)000001000130

Nicasio holds White Sox hitless for 5


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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Juan Nicasio held the Chicago White Sox hitless for five innings and Jordan Pacheco homered, helping the Colorado Rockies to a 4-1 victory on Tuesday.

Nicasio struck out six of the first eight batters and eight overall. He was removed after 82 pitches and walking just one - that runner was erased on a double play. The only other Chicago player to reach base was Adam Eaton, who struck out but made it to first on a wild pitch.

''I had good command of my fastball, down and in, and my slider was a lot better today,'' Nicasio said. ''I'm ready for the season. I finished strong.''

That alone is a big difference, Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

''He's healthy for the first time in a while,'' Weiss said. ''He wants to show who he really is.''

The only thing slowing Nicasio on Tuesday was a torn fingernail on the middle finger of his pitching hand. Neither Weiss nor Nicasio expected that to be a problem for his next appearance.

White Sox ace Chris Sale, in his final start before opening day on Monday, gave up six hits and struck out three in 3 2-3 innings. Colorado's Drew Stubbs led off the game with a double and scored on DJ LeMahieu's single. After a wild pitch, Michael Cuddyer singled to drive in LeMahieu.

STARTING TIME

Rockies: Nicasio posted his third scoreless outing of the spring. Weiss said his use of all his pitches is making a big difference - particularly the split-finger fastball.

''With each outing he's gained more confidence with it,'' Weiss said. ''He's throwing it more to put hitters away. His slider is a much better pitch than it was this time last year.''

Despite the fingernail tear, Nicasio will likely get one more tuneup, in a minor league game on Sunday.

White Sox: Sale finished the Cactus League season with a 4.58 ERA, and 16 strikeouts in 17 2-3 innings. He walked three in the spring - none on Tuesday.

Before the game, White Sox manager Robin Ventura confirmed that Sale would be joined in the rotation by Felipe Paulino, Jose Quintana, Erik Johnson and John Danks, though ''not necessarily in that order,'' Ventura said.

He added that he would likely break up the lefties, though Danks - who starts Wednesday in Glendale against Cincinnati - is in position to follow Sale. Quintana, the third lefty, has been pitching in between right-hander Paulino and Johnson during the spring.

CLOSING TIME

Nate Jones, who is competing for the Chicago closer job along with Matt Lindstrom and Maikel Cleto, gave up two runs in the fifth inning, including Pacheco's home run. Lindstrom and Cleto each pitched one scoreless inning.

Cleto, claimed on waivers from Kansas City last month, has been a surprise late entry in the closer race by giving up just one run in 9 2-3 spring innings.

OPPORTUNITY AT SECOND

LeMahieu had an RBI single in the first and a triple in the third, both off Sale - and continued to impress Weiss. The 25-year-old second baseman hit .280 last season in 109 games. He stole 18 bases.

''DJ handled his opportunity well last year,'' Weiss said.

The longtime major league shortstop said he liked LeMahieu's overall approach.

''He's got such a great feel for the game,'' Weiss said. ''His instincts, his ability to make adjustments, that's what gives me confidence. He has the ability to pick a spot to run (on steal attempts) and have multiple variables in his favor when he does run.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: Second baseman Gordon Beckham said his strained oblique is improving and he's hopeful of playing in Monday's season opener. But Beckham, who has missed 10 days of spring training games, says it won't be a long road back if he has to miss it.

''It would be one of those things the first day I could come off, I'd probably come off,'' Beckham said of the possibility of going on the disabled list. ''I wish you could play every game like (opening day), but that's just one game out of 162.''

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Colorado

D. LeMahieu
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Chicago

M. Semien
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Drew Stubbs, CF3110011 .333
   Charlie Blackmon, CF1000000 .224
DJ LeMahieu, 2B4131011 .357
Michael Cuddyer, RF4022011 .214
Nolan Arenado, 3B3010012 .362
   Corey Dickerson, LF1010000 .370
Justin Morneau, 1B4000002 .219
Michael McKenry, DH3010020 .233
   a-Ryan Wheeler, PH-DH1000000 .346
Josh Rutledge, SS4000001 .270
Jordan Pacheco, C3111010 .346
   Jackson Williams, C1000000 .286
Charlie Culberson, LF-3B3110010 .283
   Paul Janish, 3B0000000 .429
Juan Nicasio, P0000000 .250
   Chad Bettis, P0000000 .000
   Matt Belisle, P0000000 .000
   Chris Martin, P0000000 .000
   Brooks Brown, P0000000 .000
   Greg Burke, P0000000 .000
Totals35411408  
a-grounded out for McKenry in the 9th
Batting
2B - Drew Stubbs (3, Sale), Michael Cuddyer (3, Jones), Corey Dickerson (4, Belisario)
3B - DJ LeMahieu (1, Sale)
HR - Jordan Pacheco (2, Jones)
RBI - DJ LeMahieu (1), Michael Cuddyer 2 (3), Jordan Pacheco (5)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Cuddyer (1)
CS - DJ LeMahieu (3, 2nd base by Belisario/Flowers)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Arenado-LeMahieu-Morneau
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Juan Nicasio (W,2-0) 5000170 2.78
Chad Bettis (H,2) 1111200 1.00
Matt Belisle (H,3) 1000000 5.40
Chris Martin (H,3) 1200110 3.86
Brooks Brown (H,1) 0.2000010 4.50
Greg Burke 0.1000010 5.63
WP - Juan Nicasio (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Juan Nicasio 33-29, Chad Bettis 12-4, Matt Belisle 3-3, Chris Martin 11-7, Brooks Brown 4-4, Greg Burke 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Juan Nicasio 3-5, Matt Belisle 1-2, Chris Martin 1-1
Batters Faced - Juan Nicasio 16, Chad Bettis 6, Matt Belisle 3, Chris Martin 6, Brooks Brown 2, Greg Burke 1
Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Adam Eaton, CF4010012 .306
Avisail Garcia, RF2000211 .246
Conor Gillaspie, 3B3001014 .280
Jose Abreu, 1B4000016 .271
Adam Dunn, DH4000020 .205
Dayan Viciedo, LF3000120 .286
Alexei Ramirez, SS4000011 .241
Tyler Flowers, C3010010 .225
Marcus Semien, 2B2110100 .348
Chris Sale, P0000000 .000
   Nate Jones, P0000000 .000
   Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
   Daniel Webb, P0000000 .000
   Ronald Belisario, P0000000 .000
   Maikel Cleto, P0000000 .000
Totals29131410  
Batting
2B - Marcus Semien (5, Martin)
SF - Conor Gillaspie (1)
RBI - Conor Gillaspie (6)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Gillaspie-Semien-Abreu, Gillaspie-Semien-Abreu-Semien-A. Ramirez-Abreu
Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Sale (L,0-2) 3.2622030 4.58
Nate Jones 1.1322031 2.70
Matt Lindstrom 1000010 3.00
Daniel Webb 1000000 3.00
Ronald Belisario 1200010 5.79
Maikel Cleto 1000000 0.93
WP - Chris Sale (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Sale 22-21, Nate Jones 14-14, Matt Lindstrom 5-5, Daniel Webb 3-3, Ronald Belisario 7-6, Maikel Cleto 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Sale 3-3, Matt Lindstrom 2-0, Daniel Webb 1-2, Ronald Belisario 1-0, Maikel Cleto 1-2
Batters Faced - Chris Sale 15, Nate Jones 7, Matt Lindstrom 3, Daniel Webb 3, Ronald Belisario 4, Maikel Cleto 3
Game Information
Attendance - 5686
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Nick Lentz, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - David Rackley, Third Base - Tom Woodring