Youngsters produce offense in White Sox split-squad loss

Hawkins, Sanchez drive in runs for early 3-0 lead

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rookie catcher Jorge Alfaro had a double and a triple as the Rangers won for the fifth time in seven games by beating the White Sox, 7-3, at Surprise Stadium on Thursday.

Alfaro, ranked No. 45 among MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects, was 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI. He is now 4-for-11 in the Cactus League.

The White Sox brought a split squad to Surprise, but it included veteran catcher Geovany Soto. He was with the Rangers the past three years and is now with the White Sox on a Minor League contract.

Soto is trying to win a backup job behind Tyler Flowers and went 1-for-2 with a run scored. The hit came during a three-run second inning against Rangers starter Anthony Ranaudo.

"I feel great, I feel healthy," Soto said. "I'm really happy to be out there playing. I'm here to play ball. I'm getting the opportunity to play and I have to make the most of it."

Rookie outfielder Courtney Hawkins had two hits, including an RBI double, and Carlos Sanchez had a two-run single for the White Sox. Adrian Beltre hit his first home run of the spring for the Rangers. Nate Schierholtz added a two-out, two-run single in the eighth.

Ranaudo left after throwing 44 pitches because of some discomfort in his right elbow. But the situation is not considered serious and he doesn't expect to miss his next start.

Nick Tepesch, another candidate for the rotation, took the mound for the Rangers in the fourth and pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and a walk.

White Sox rookie pitcher Francelis Montas made his first start of the spring and allowed one run in two-plus innings. His fastball was registering 98 mph.

Up next: Left-hander Jose Quintana, who has a spot locked up in the rotation, pitches against the Rockies at 3:10 p.m. CT on Friday in Scottsdale. It will be his third start of the Cactus League. With Chris Sale not expected to be ready for the start of the season, Quintana could be a candidate, along with Jeff Samardzija, to be the White Sox Opening Day starter.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.