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Morel's thump aids sharp Stewart vs. Tribe

Morel's thump aids sharp Stewart vs. Tribe

Morel's thump aids sharp Stewart vs. Tribe
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ubaldo Jimenez is set as Cleveland's No. 2 starter for the 2012 season behind Justin Masterson.

Zach Stewart is fighting for one of the final two White Sox bullpen slots. And even though Stewart's numbers were better on the mound during the White Sox 7-1 victory over the Indians on Tuesday at Camelback Ranch, both pitchers accomplished what they needed on this sunny afternoon.

Jimenez allowed three runs -- but only two earned -- over five innings, fanning three without issuing a walk. His fastball checked in between 91-94 mph as late as the fourth inning.

The White Sox scored all three runs off Jimenez in the fourth on Paul Konerko's double, Brent Morel's two-out single and Jose Lopez's error on Eduardo Escobar's hard-hit ball to second. Morel added his first Cactus League homer in the sixth to raise the lead to four.

Stewart looked great against a Cleveland batting order featuring the top five hitters in its everyday lineup, its backup catcher and three other players competing for roster spots. The right-hander -- who appeared in 10 games, including eight starts last year for the White Sox -- yielded just one run on three hits over 5 1/3 innings, striking out one and walking one.

"I felt good," Stewart said. "The last two outings I felt like I've been putting it together, for the most part, as far as keeping the ball down, changing speeds, keeping them off-balance."

This Cactus League start went to Stewart when Jake Peavy got in his seven innings of work on Tuesday morning during an intrasquad Minor League game on the Camelback Ranch back fields. Cleveland scored its only run on Asdrubal Cabrera's third-inning sacrifice fly.

Up next:The White Sox final split-squad Cactus League action has one half going to Scottsdale to take on the Rockies and the other half staying back at Camelback Ranch to play host to the Padres. The home game starts at 3:05 p.m. CT and will be broadcast exclusively on a whitesox.com webcast, and the road game starts at 3:10 p.m. CT. The home contest features Brent Lillibridge in center and leading off, with A.J. Pierzynski hitting second. Alex Rios, Adam Dunn, Alexei Ramirez, Brent Morel, Dayan Viciedo, Dan Johnson and Ray Olmedo round out the lineup. Against the Rockies, Eduardo Escobar will be playing shortstop while Hector Santiago once again could be pitching the ninth if the White Sox have a lead.

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.

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