It was a beautiful sunny day at Sloan Park in Arizona, the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs.
Unfortunately, for Carson Fulmer and the White Sox, the former first-round pick’s start was anything but beautiful. A home run on Fulmer’s second pitch of the game by Chicago Cubs’ outfielder Ian Happ set the tone for Fulmer’s day.
Struggling to command his fastball and slider left Fulmer vulnerable and the young righty departed after throwing 50 pitches and allowing five hits and walking one. Fulmer would leave without recording an out in the second. Fulmer’s brief outing was highlighted by a strikeout of Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber on a full count.
Fulmer’s rough first inning was not helped by the play of his defense. Nicky Delmonico overran a ball and Ryan Cordell slipped on the warning track, both plays allowed runners to score, both plays occurred with two outs.
Coming in relief of Carson Fulmer was Hector Santiago. Santiago was the starter for the White Sox on Sunday and turned in a strong two-inning performance. Today, Santiago made the best case of any pitcher this spring as to why he should be the White Sox fifth starter. Santiago pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only one baserunner on a throwing error from Jose Rondon.
Santiago would go on to retire eight straight batters after that. Finishing the game with three innings pitched, no hits, no walks, and four strikeouts. Santiago was dominant from the start, using an excellent command of his fastball and breaking pitches to keep the Cubs hitters guessing and off balance.
The offensive side of the ball saw the White Sox trot out most of what is expected to be their opening day lineup. The only noticeable difference was Ryan Cordell starting in center and leading off.
Jose Abreu notched a double to the deep gap in left-center field. His first double of the spring. Also starring offensively for the Sox was Matt Davidson, who is attempting to secure his spot as the designated hitter. Davidson hit his second home run of the spring in the third inning, a towering two-run shot to left field. This brought the Sox within one run of the Cubs at four to three, but that was as close as it would get until it was six to five in the sixth where the score would remain for the rest of the game.
Also starring on offense was outfielder Nicky Delmonico. Delmonico went three for three with a double in the sixth inning. Another notable performance today was from Cuban outfielder Luis Robert. Robert collected his first hit of the spring, a rope single to left in the eighth inning.
The performances from Davidson, Delmonico, and Santiago were encouraging signs for the young White Sox, but at the end of the day, the Sox always want to beat the Cubs, even if it is only spring training.
Next up the Sox play the Texas Rangers at home tomorrow at 2:05 pm CT.