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Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Royals 3, White Sox 2

By Doug Padilla

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It was another familiar sight as the Chicago White Sox closed out Cactus League play on Tuesday with a 3-2 defeat to the Royals. The team exits Arizona with an 11-20 mark and has one more exhibition game scheduled, Wednesday against their Single-A affiliate in Winston-Salem, before starting the season Friday at Cleveland.

The good: Adam Dunn hit a home run in his second-to-last spring at-bat to give him three on the spring. It was his second home in five days as his power stroke looks to have arrived with the regular season approaching. Paul Konerko added another hit to leave him with a .310 batting average in Arizona.

The bad: The plan was to have the starters play together more often toward the end of spring training, but that move hasn’t seemed to get the offense going. The team’s run production has been stagnant and there isn’t much time left to get things on track before Friday. A slow start hampered the team’s effort last season, so everybody knows what is at stake.

Beyond the box score: Who would have thought that Lastings Milledge and Brent Morel would finish the spring with a nearly identical Cactus League batting average? After looking good offensively and basically carving out a roster spot by mid-March, Milledge finished Cactus League play with a .305 average. Morel has been the real deal on defense this spring, but his offense didn’t emerge until he got an unexpected two-game break. He didn’t have a hit in two at-bats Tuesday but still leaves Arizona with a .303 batting average.

Up next: The White Sox will attempt to play a game at Winston-Salem on Wednesday, but the forecast there is for rain. Because of that, Gavin Floyd will remain back in Arizona and pitch Wednesday against minor leaguers.