Sale's debut in rotation one of highs, lows

Sale's debut in rotation one of highs, lows

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The first of eight battles between the Cubs and White Sox during the 2012 season went to the North Siders by virtue of Friday's 5-1 victory at Camelback Ranch.

Dale Sveum's crew scored one in the first and two in the third against Chris Sale, and held on to even its Cactus League record at 3-3. Robin Ventura's squad slipped to 1-4, with two games on the schedule for Saturday.

Sale made his first official start as a member of the White Sox rotation, working three innings and giving up three runs on three hits. He fanned four, including Alfonso Soriano, Bryan LaHair and Jeff Baker.

Darwin Barney singled home Soriano in the first to give the Cubs a quick 1-0 lead, and Edgar Gonzalez launched a two-run home run in the second after Junior Lake drew a two-out walk. Left fielder Dayan Viciedo broke in first on Gonzalez's drive but then watched the ball sail over the left-field fence.

Travis Wood worked 2 1/3 innings in his start for the Cubs, giving up Alex Rios' sacrifice fly but nothing more. The southpaw was helped out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the third when Paul Konerko hit into a double play from third baseman Gonzalez to LaHair against Randy Wells, who came on in relief of Wood. Wells worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out one.

Marlon Byrd added a solo homer off Nate Jones in the sixth. Steve Clevenger then homered off Jones an inning later.

These two teams meet again on March 18 in Mesa, Ariz. They then play three times at Wrigley Field from May 18-20 and three more at U.S. Cellular Field from June 18-20.

Up next for White Sox: The White Sox play a rare Cactus League doubleheader, with both contests taking place at Camelback Ranch. The afternoon portion, starting at 2:05 p.m. CT and broadcast via Gameday Audio, features the Rangers against the South Siders. Dylan Axelrod gets the start, trying to increase his chances in nailing down one of the final bullpen slots.

It's the White Sox against the Dodgers in the evening portion, beginning at 8:05 p.m. CT, with Philip Humber making his second start of the spring. For those keeping track, Kosuke Fukudome is scheduled to hit second in the first-game lineup and Brent Morel will hit second in Game 2.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.