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Napoli homers as Halos tie opener

Napoli homers as Halos tie opener

ANGELS 4, WHITE SOX 4
at Tempe, Ariz.
Thursday, March 4

Angels at the plate: Mike Napoli went the other way on a full count, powering a solo go-ahead homer to right against right-hander Lucas Harrell in the fourth inning. Howard Kendrick banged a double to center in his first at-bat. Juan Rivera's two-out RBI single in the third inning followed walks by Erick Aybar, setting the table, and Torii Hunter. Catching prospect Hank Conger, a former first-round Draft pick, ripped a single in his first at-bat and lifted a sacrifice fly in the eighth preceding Freddy Sandoval's game-tying RBI single.

White Sox at the plate: A.J. Pierzynski slammed a two-run homer to right center to break a 2-2 tie in the fifth. Juan Pierre's bunt single and steal started the three-run inning. Dayan Viciedo cracked a two-out RBI single in the second after singles by Mark Teahen and Alexei Ramirez.

Angels on the mound: Starter Joel Pineiro struck out two men looking and yielded three singles and a walk for a run in the second inning before retiring Pierre to leave the bases loaded. Brian Stokes, the new right-handed reliever, made a solid Angels debut with two hitless, scoreless innings, walking two with a strikeout. Anthony Ortega was touched for three runs, two earned, in two innings.

White Sox on the mound: John Danks yielded a first-inning single to Bobby Abreu but got Hunter to line into a double play, and the lefty escaped with two runners in scoring position with a groundout to end the threat and two scoreless innings. Harrell walked two men and surrendered a two-out RBI single, and Napoli homered against him. Right-hander Sergio Santos struck out the side in the sixth, allowing one hit. Fighting his control with two walks and two wild pitches, Brian Omogrosso yielded a pair of tying runs in the eighth.

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Worth noting: Rivera made a running, shoestring catch leading off the third inning to rob Gordon Beckham and then, on the next batter, made a difficult one-handed snag of Pierzynski's twisting fly ball. Nine-time Gold Glover Hunter made one of his familiar running catches in the right-center gap on Ramirez's drive. Both first basemen, Robb Quinlan of the Angels and Viciedo, made excellent digs of throws in the dirt for outs.

Cactus League records: Angels 0-0-1; White Sox 0-0-1

Up next: The Angels are back home on Friday to face the Rockies at 12:05 p.m. PT, with right-hander Sean O'Sullivan getting the call against Rockies flame-thrower Ubaldo Jimenez. Scheduled to follow O'Sullivan to the mound are lefties Trevor Reckling, closer Brian Fuentes and Andrew Taylor along with righty Tommy Mendoza.

O'Sullivan, who will focus on fastball command as he throws about 20 pitches, made a big impression last season when he shut down the Giants on one run across seven innings in a victory in San Francisco in his Major League debut on June 16. O'Sullivan made nine more starts, finishing 4-2 with a 5.92 ERA in 12 appearances.

He made big news after returning to Triple-A Salt Lake when he threw a no-hitter on July 28 in his last start for the Bees. He was 6-4 with a 5.48 ERA in the Pacific Coast League after starting the season 1-2 with a 5.30 ERA at Double-A Arkansas. O'Sullivan, 22, is a San Diego native selected in the third round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he did not know when Hideki Matsui would make his season debut. It could happen this weekend, but Matsui might need a little more time to get his knees strong enough to make the necessary cuts and movements required on the basepaths. He can swing the bat with no problem.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }