Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
The Oakland Athletics hosted the Chicago White Sox in Phoenix Sunday in Cactus League action. Chicago’s top pitching prospect, Erik Johnson, started for the White Sox. The right-hander worked four innings and allowed only one earned run on four hits and one walk. Johnson struck out five. Fellow prospect Jake Petricka tossed a perfect eighth inning, which included a strikeout. Leury Garcia went 0-for-3 in the start at shortstop and fellow infielder Micah Johnson went 1-for-1 and scored two runs. Outfielders Keenyn Walker and Trayce Thompson each finished 0-for-1 on the day. For Oakland, Billy Burns replaced Coco Crisp in centerfield and went 0-for-2. Fellow outfielder Michael Taylor went 0-for-1, but is hitting .321 this spring. Daniel Robertson failed to collect a hit in his only trip.
In Tempe, the Cincinnati Reds took on the host Los Angeles Angels. Top pitching prospect Robert Stephenson worked a spotless eighth inning for the Reds. At the plate, catcher Tucker Barnhart went 1-2, while fellow prospects Donald Lutz, Yorman Rodriguez and Neftali Soto combined for an 0-for-4 day. The Angels also sent a pitching prospect to the mound as Mark Sappington work one-third of an inning. Infield prospects Alex Yarbrough and Taylor Lindsey each went 0-for-1, as did C.J. Cron who is hitting .571 this spring.
The Kansas City Royals hosted the Colorado Rockies in Surprise. Rockies outfielder/first baseman Kyle Parker had a big day at the plate with two doubles, two runs scored and five RBI in two trips, which raised average to .294 this spring. Rossell Herrera added a hit in his only trip, giving him four in eight at-bats thus far this spring. Pitching prospects Eddie Butler and Rob Scahill each worked a scoreless inning to close out the victory for Colorado. The Royals got a perfect inning from lefty Donnie Joseph that included two strikeouts, but fellow prospect Michael Mariot had a tougher time. The reliever allowed four earned runs on five hits in one inning. He struck out one. Infielder Christian Colon and outfielder Jorge Bonifacio each went 0-for-1 for Kansas City.
At Cubs Park, the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs met in an slugfest. Matt Szczur led off and started in leftfield for Chicago and went 1-for-3 with a run scored, as did shortstop Javier Baez. Third baseman Kris Bryant walked and scored a run later in the contest, and outfielder Brett Jackson knocked a two RBI single and scored a run in his only trip to the plate. Infield prospect Arismendy Alcantara pinch ran and scored a run for Chicago, while prospect Kyle Hendricks started for the Cubs and allowed two earned runs on three hits and two walks. The 24-year old struck out four in three innings. David Goforth took the loss for the Brewers after allowing three earned runs on three walks in just one-third of an inning in relief. Brooks Hall worked the final three outs for Milwaukee, striking out one in a spotless ninth. Nick Ramirez went 1-for-2 with an RBI.
Another Brewers split squad also traveled to Goodyear Ballpark to take on the Cleveland Indians. Hunter Morris had a good day at the plate for the Crew, going 2-for-4 with a runs scored as the designated hitter. Jason Rogers got the start at first and went 1-3. Garrett Cooper, who had an RBI single and scored a run in his first Cactus League action this spring, replaced him at first. On the mound, Wei-Chung Wang continued his impressive spring. The Rule-5 selection tossed two innings and allowed just one unearned run on three hits. The 21-year old lefty has not allowed an earned run in five innings thus far. Ariel Pena and Kevin Shackelford each worked a scoreless inning, with Pena striking out two and walking one.
Top prospect Francisco Lindor entered as a pinch runner and stayed in the game to play shortstop for the Indians. He finished 0-for-2 on the day. Tyler Naquin, Jesus Aguilar and Joe Wendle each got an at-bat, but none collected a hit. C.C. Lee worked a perfect inning for the Tribe in which he struck out two.
The Dodgers hosted the San Francisco Giants at Camelback Ranch Sunday. Miguel Rojas started at shortstop for the Dodgers and went 0-for-2 before being replaced by Corey Saeger, who scored a run after collecting a base hit in one of two at-bats. Alexander Guerrero finished the day 0-for-2 after starting at second base. Top prospect Joc Pederson had a hit in his only plate appearance. For the Giants, Left-handed pitching prospect Edwin Escobar started on the mound. The 21-year old allowed one run on one hit and four walks over three innings. Juan Perez started in leftfield and went 0-for-5, but he is hitting .304 this spring.
The Texas Rangers met the Seattle Mariners in Peoria. Michael Choice scored three runs for the Rangers as the starting right fielder as part of a 1-for-3 day that included his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the sixth inning. Infield prospect Rougned Odor saw action and went 0-for-2. Top pitching prospect Alex Gonzalez’s first Cactus League action did not go according to plan. The 2013 first round pick allowed three earned runs in just one-third of an inning. He surrendered one walk and one hit and struck out one. For the Mariners, Chris Taylor had an RBI double and scored a run in one plate appearance. James Jones also went 1-for-1 and Stefen Romero failed to record a hit in his only at-bat.
Bo Schultz started on the mound for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who hosted the Padres Sunday. The independent-leaguer turned pitching prospect gave up just one unearned run on three hits in three innings and struck out three. The 28-year old also had a hit and scored a run in his only at-bat. Prospect Evan Marshall worked a perfect tenth inning and struck out one. For San Diego, Donn Roach worked two and two-thirds perfect innings. Jace Peterson started at shortstop and went 1-for-2 with a run scored and Rico Noel finished 0-for-3 as the starting centerfielder. He is now hitting .167 this spring.