Morel's hot start continues in nightcap

Morel's hot start continues in nightcap

Morel's hot start continues in nightcap
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The focal point of Brent Morel's game stands out as his Gold Glove-caliber defense, even as he prepares for just his second full big league season.

But if Morel continues to hit as he has during the first week of Cactus League action, then his offensive game just might be as valuable as his defense.

Morel finished 3-for-4 Saturday night in the White Sox 10-6 loss to the Dodgers, giving him eight hits in 15 at-bats this spring. The third baseman batted in the second spot of manager Robin Ventura's order, where he could eventually find himself during the season.

It was Morel's two-out single in the fourth that scored Jordan Danks and gave the White Sox a 5-4 lead. That lead evaporated when Jerry Hairston homered off of Jhan Marinez to open the sixth, but the White Sox regained the lead in the eighth on Ray Olmedo's double. The South Siders knocked out 16 hits.

Cory Sullivan delivered the comeback win for the Dodgers with a grand slam off Simon Castro in the ninth inning.

Tyler Flowers gave the White Sox an early 4-1 advantage in Saturday's nightcap of a split-squad doubleheader for both teams when he launched an 0-2 pitch from Dodgers reliever Josh Lindblom for a three-run blast to left. Flowers' drive cleared the left-field grass area and caused an audible gasp from the crowd when he made contact.

"That was deep. It might have been worth two homers there," said White Sox starter Philip Humber. "It was a good shot."

Lindblom came into the game in the third with Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez already on base, working in relief of Chad Billingsley, who allowed three runs on six hits over 2 1/3 innings. Billingsley struck out three and walked one.

Humber pitched three-plus innings, exiting after Juan Rivera's homer leading off the fourth. The White Sox right-hander yielded two runs on three hits, striking out three without issuing a walk.

Los Angeles scored one in the third on Tony Gwynn's double off Morel's glove and added three more in the fourth. The White Sox won their early Saturday game by a 3-2 margin over the Rangers, with Minor League callup Kenny Williams Jr. scoring the game-winning run via a two-out, infield single. The Dodgers and Mariners played to a 5-5 tie in Peoria.

Up Next, Dodgers: Ted Lilly, hit hard in his first start of the spring, tries to rebound on Sunday, as the Dodgers host his former club, the Cubs, in a 2:05 p.m. CT start. Pitchers scheduled to follow Lilly include middle relievers Matt Guerrier, Mike MacDougal and Todd Coffey. Outfielder Matt Kemp is not scheduled to play.

Up Next, White Sox: John Danks looks to find a little more control on the mound when he makes his second Cactus League start Sunday at 3:10 p.m. CT at Salt River Field against the Rockies. Danks walked three over two innings in his debut against the Angels Tuesday. The ageless Jamie Moyer starts for the Rockies, facing a lineup featuring Brent Lillibridge leading off and playing shortstop, A.J. Pierzynski hitting second and Adam Dunn in the cleanup spot at first base.

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