chatsports.com photo: San Francisco Giant Darin Ruf
By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, March 7, 2020
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – It was a big day on Saturday at Scottsdale Stadium for a veteran trying to catch on in San Francisco’s 12-7 Cactus League exhibition win over the Chicago White Sox.
Darin Ruf, a 33-year-old non-roster invitee, was 2-for-2 with a pair of home runs and three runs batted in. In 19 at-bats in 10 games this spring, Ruf, who hasn’t played in the majors since 2016, is hitting .368 with three home runs and eight RBIs. He hit 81 home runs and batted .315 in three seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization with the Samsung Lions.
Top catching prospect Joey Bart continues to impress. Bart homered – his second of the spring – and is hitting .438 in the Cactus League.
It was an offensive show provided by both teams for the announced crowd of 9,721, who were enjoying the 82-degree game-time temperatures. The Giants scored 12 runs on 18 hits, while the White Sox had seven runs on nine hits, but committed two errors.
Also contributing offensively for the Giants, Donovan Solano was 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored twice, Zach Green was 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs, Brandon Belt collected two hits, and Buster Posey (hitting .412) was 2-for-2.
San Francisco took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third on RBI singles by Belt and Posey that drove in Jaylen Davis and Evan Longoria.
The White Sox answered with a run in the top of the fourth.
Ruf and Bart hit back-to-back home runs for San Francisco in the bottom of the fifth. It was the second Cactus League homer of the spring for each.
Chicago used a six-run rally to take the lead in the top of the sixth. After James McCann’s two-run triple pulled the Sox to within 6-5, Zach Collins’ RBI single tied the game. Chesler Cuthbert’s run-scoring single gave the White Sox a 7-6 lead.
The White Sox did most of that damage off Giants reliever Jerry Blevins. Enderson Franco (1-0) gave up two runs for a blown save, but got the win.
Green hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to put the Giants back in front at 8-7.
Solano added an RBI double in the eighth, driving in Billy Hamilton, and Green reached on an error, allowing Solano to score the Giants’ 10th run. Ruf’s second homer of the game extended San Francisco’s lead to 12-7, capping a four-run rally.
Trevor Cahill started for San Francisco, striking out five in three scoreless innings. Yapson Gomez threw a scoreless ninth for the Giants, who used eight pitchers.
Dallas Keuchel started for the White Sox and worked the first 3 2/3 innings, surrendering four earned runs while striking out three. Alex Colomé (0-1) was tagged with the loss.
The Giants Friday optioned RHPs Melvin Adon and Conner Menez, LHP Sam Selman, INFs Chris Shaw, Abiatal Avelino and Kean Wong to the minors; RHPs Tyler Cyr, Sam Hjelle, Jake Jewell, Luis Madero, Raffi Vizcaino and Trey McNutt, LHP Sam Moll, C Ricardo Genoves, and OF Jamie Westbrook were reassigned to the minor league camp.
San Francisco has 54 players in camp, 21 of them non-roster.
San Francisco hosts Seattle on Sunday at Scottsdale, travels to Goodyear for a split-squad game with Cleveland on Monday, host the Chicago Cubs in Scottsdale on Tuesday, and heads to Surprise to play Texas on Wednesday. Thursday is an off day.