Quintana solid in Catcus League debut

White Sox lefty allows two runs over 4 1/3 innings; LaRoche's back improving

Quintana solid in Catcus League debut

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jose Quintana's first spring start came in a "B" game Saturday in Goodyear. But the White Sox No. 2 starter stepped up to Cactus League action without a hitch in Thursday's 8-2 win against the Rangers.

"It was nice to play in a real game," Quintana told reporters in Surprise. "I was excited to face good hitters on a good team. That's good for working on your pitches. The key for me is to keep the ball down. This was my first start. I tried to throw to both sides of the plate and work with my strengths, working with my changeup, too."

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Quintana added that his arm felt good over 4 1/3 innings, over which he struck out three and didn't issue a walk.

LaRoche's back continues to improve
Designated hitter Adam LaRoche said the back pain that caused him to leave Saturday's game against the Royals feels much improved.

"But we're always going to be probably two days out before I see him in the game," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "Right now he's getting in the cage and took some swings and said he felt all right."

Jackson getting closer to game action
Austin Jackson feels pretty close to playing in games.

"Yesterday was the first time I've seen live pitching, in a sim game," said Jackson, who stood in against Chris Sale as part of that simulated game. "Hopefully I get a couple more of those under my belt and see where I'm at and go from there."

White Sox, Jackson on his role

Despite the extended free-agent process in finding a new home, with Jackson officially agreeing to a one-year, $5 million deal with the White Sox on Sunday, his offseason wasn't much different in terms of working out, hitting and throwing.

He's dealing with the expected soreness from putting the spikes on, getting on the grass and moving around through the first couple of days. But he hasn't taken long to get acclimated to his new clubhouse.

"It's been pretty easy," Jackson said. "I've played with some of these guys and I've played against some of the guys for a while, so it wasn't that hard."

Anderson returns to camp
Tim Anderson, the No. 2 White Sox prospect per MLB Pipeline, returned to camp Thursday after leaving Sunday for the birth of his daughter, Peyton Kensleigh.

"Just a great moment to enjoy with my family and it was very emotional and very exciting," said Anderson. "I heard people tell me about it, but it's something you can't prepare for. I enjoyed every moment of it. It was just so fun and so exciting."

Callis on White Sox prospects

Anderson didn't get to do any baseball activity while he was gone, being at the hospital the whole time, but is certain the four-day absence won't affect his preparation. He already FaceTimed with his daughter and fiancée, Bria, on Wednesday night and plans to FaceTime as often as possible until he sees them again.

"It was sad to leave," Anderson said. "I didn't want to let her go. But I had to come back."

Long ball facts
Homers from Jerry Sands, Tyler Saladino, Brett Lawrie and Matt Davidson on Thursday gave the White Sox 16 over nine games. Lawrie, Davidson and Saladino stand as the only hitters with two.

Sands' three-run shot

They said it
"I know how important that is being around certain cultures, like I did at Vanderbilt, to keep things loose. When it's time to get going, they lock in and they are ready to go." -- Carson Fulmer, on a valuable lesson he's learning from veteran teammates

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.