Mercedes' homer secures draw vs. Rox

Mercedes' homer secures draw with Rockies

at Tucson, Ariz.
Thursday, March 29

Rockies at the plate: Matt Holliday launched his fourth home run of the spring in the first inning, a three-run blast coming on the first pitch from Jon Garland. Rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki had two singles.

White Sox at the plate: After Colorado starter Jeff Francis no-hit the White Sox for 4 2/3 innings, Kenny Kelly barely beat out a slow grounder to the right of the mound for the team's first hit. Josh Fields singled home Pedro Lopez in the sixth, and Minor Leaguer Victor Mercedes hit a two-out home run in the ninth to produce the final deadlock.

Rockies on the mound: Francis, Colorado's No. 2 starter, was absolutely dominant, albeit against a White Sox lineup with its only regular being Jim Thome. Francis gave up two singles in five innings, striking out five and walking just one.

White Sox on the mound: Garland worked seven innings in preparation for his regular-season start against Cleveland on April 4, allowing four runs in the first inning and one in the seventh. Garland gave up nine hits but didn't issue a walk, striking out three and retiring 12 Colorado hitters via the ground ball.

Cactus League records: Rockies 13-12-2; White Sox 9-21-1.

Up next: The White Sox begin their final weekend of exhibition baseball with a game against the Braves in Atlanta, scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT on Friday. Mark Buehrle gets the start in preparation for his first regular-season trip to the mound on April 5. The Rockies are scheduled to play an exhibition game with their Triple-A team in Colorado Springs, weather permitting.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.