TEMPE, Ariz. -- Chicago's A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run homer to highlight a three-run third inning, and Los Angeles catcher Mike Napoli also homered as the White Sox and Angels played to a 4-4 tie Thursday before the Cactus League opener for both teams was called after nine innings.
Chicago left-hander John Danks played his first professional game with brother Jordan Danks, who started in right field, and worked two scoreless innings in his first spring start. Jordan Danks went 0 for 2 with a walk. He was caught stealing in the ninth."I didn't miss a pitch whenever he was up at bat," said John Danks, who was 13-11 with a 3.77 ERA with the White Sox in 2009 and is expected to fit somewhere in the rotation after Mark Buehrle and Jake Peavy.John Danks said he kept it simple, throwing only one curveball and mostly fastballs and change-ups instead."I was really focused on throwing strikes," he said. "All in all, I'm pretty happy with it."Angels' right-hander Joel Pineiro is in a similar situation. Pineiro worked two innings and allowed three hits and one run with a walk and two strikeouts."I had a little bit of butterflies, I'm not going to lie," said Pineiro, who was 15-13 with a 3.49 ERA with St. Louis last season and led the majors in fewest pitches per walks (1.14). "It was exciting being out there."Pineiro figures to fit somewhere in the middle to the back end of an Angels rotation that features Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana and Scott Kazmir.
It appears Erick Aybar will get the first shot at winning the Angels' leadoff spot. Aybar led off against the White Sox in Thursday's Cactus League opener. Maicer Izturis, who is also in consideration for the job, batted fifth. Aybar was 0 for 2 with a walk and scored the first run on Juan Rivera's third-inning single. Izturis was hitless in three trips to the plate. ... Both the White Sox and Angels played several of their expected regulars Thursday. Chicago's lineup featured Juan Pierre, Gordon Beckham, A.J. Pierzynski, Mark Teahen and Alexei Ramirez. The Angels' lineup featured Aybar, Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, Juan Rivera, Izturis, Howie Kendrick, Mike Napoli and Brandon Wood.