GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Young, the one-time top White Sox prospect, took Chicago starter Gavin Floyd deep to open the fourth inning, but the D-backs' center fielder's continued hot streak wasn't enough in a 6-3 loss on Friday night.
Over the 1,494 regular-season games played by A.J. Pierzynski in his distinguished career, he has never hit an inside-the-park home run.That fact shouldn't surprise anyone, considering the talented catcher has not exactly been blessed with world-class speed, producing 17 career triples and 13 stolen bases in 32 attempts over the course of 5,316 at-bats. But Pierzynski provided one of the more exciting Cactus League moments in recent memory through his fifth inning dash around the bases. With Alex Rios on first and reliever Brett Lorin on the mound, Pierzynski blasted a shot to straightaway center for his third extra-base hit in three at-bats. The drive hit off the top of the fence, just to the left of the 410-mark, and shot toward right-center. Pierzynski picked up steam around first and slid home just in front of the relay throw, with third-base coach Joe McEwing waving him all the way.
"I saw Joe waving me, and when I hit third, Blummer [former teammate Geoff Blum] was like, 'You gotta go, tubby,'" said Pierzynski with a laugh. "So, I thought that was rather funny. It's Spring Training and doesn't count, but it's nice to get some hits."When I hit it, I thought I hit it good enough that it was going to be a regular home run. It just kept going. I saw it hit and I wasn't sure if it was out or still in. I saw [right fielder Justin] Upton chasing it and I was like, 'It's a foot race and he'll probably win.'" Pierzynski's rarity overshadowed Dan Johnson's three hits and three RBIs in his quest to claim the final position-player spot on the White Sox roster. Johnson singled home Pierzynski in the second and drove in two the third, with both two-out singles for the left-handed hitter coming off of left-handed starter Joe Saunders. Saunders, who is penciled in as the D-backs' No. 3 starter, gave up four runs on six hits over four innings. He struck out three and walked three, yielding all four runs after two were out. Floyd didn't have his best control, walking five over six innings, but pitched around trouble to give up just two runs. Up next, D-backs: The D-backs will play their second straight night game on Saturday when they return home to Salt River Fields to face the Royals at 7:10 PT. Right-hander Trevor Cahill, who was acquired from the A's in a December deal, will get the start and highly regarded left-hander Tyler Skaggs is scheduled to follow him to the mound. The Royals will start Jonathan Sanchez. Up next, White Sox: Chris Sale tries to build off of his stellar third Cactus League start when he faces the Brewers on Saturday afternoon in Phoenix at 3:05 CT. The young left-hander, converting from the bullpen to the rotation, gave up just two hits in six innings against the Reds with six strikeouts and no walks on Monday at Camelback Ranch. Sale has fanned 12 and walked just one this spring. Look for Kosuke Fukudome to get a start in left field and shortstop Alexei Ramirez to be hitting cleanup when facing Milwaukee's Randy Wolf.