PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza Jr. injured his left knee Monday night when he slipped on home plate during an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox.
Souza’s plastic cleats skidded across the plate as he scored from second base in the fourth inning, and he immediately fell to the ground holding his left leg. Souza put no pressure on his leg while being helped off the field by two Arizona trainers. He was scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday, the team said.
“Just a very unfortunate incident,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “I saw the tracks on home plate. I saw the tracks leaving home plate. These athletes are so strong, you put a little extra force on some cleats, you just don’t how it is going to respond. The only thing I remember is him flying across the air.”
The severity of the injury wasn’t immediately known.
Souza missed two months last season with a torn right pectoral muscle. He hit .220 with five homers and 29 RBIs in 72 games for the Diamondbacks.
“It’s a terrible scenario for somebody who fought as hard as he last year to get back to where he was playing this year,” Lovullo said. “He had a mindset that he was going to be very, very good for us. That’s what’s heartbreaking for me.”
Ervin Santana pitched five solid innings in his second spring training start to help the White Sox win 6-3 at Chase Field.
Daniel Palka hit a two-run homer and rookie Eloy Jimenez had an RBI single in a three-run seventh.
Santana gave up two runs and four hits, striking out three and walking two. He signed a minor league contract in February and is not on Chicago’s 40-man roster, although he is expected to be added when the team needs a fifth starter during the second week of April.
“Everything is good,” said Santana, who missed most of last season in Minnesota with a finger injury. “I’m just taking it one day at a time, one pitch at a time, and whenever they need me, I’ll be ready.
“I have to stay here and do my job. I’m not the boss here. I know I started spring training late and they think I need more starts, so I’m going to stay here” in Arizona.
Jake Lamb and John Ryan Murphy homered, and Luke Weaver gave up an unearned run in six innings for the Diamondbacks.
Weaver allowed two hits, struck out five and walked two. The right-hander, part of the offseason package Arizona received from St. Louis for slugger Paul Goldschmidt, was 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA in four spring starts.
“I feel as ready as I will ever be,” Weaver said. “This is going to be a great journey.”
Lamb hit his first homer of the spring in the sixth.
WHITE SOX ROTATION
Chicago manager Rick Renteria revealed the order of his starting rotation, with Carlos Rodon, Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito and Ivan Nova to pitch the first four games. The first three will face Kansas City, and Nova will start the first game of a two-game series at Cleveland on April 1.
“We wanted to give Nova an opportunity to start against Cleveland,” Renteria said. “We’re trying to put our best foot forward. Hopefully those matchups work out well for us.”
White Sox: OF Jon Jay (hip) felt soreness after playing Sunday and was re-evaluated Monday. “We’re optimistic we can manage it,” Renteria said. Jay is expected to be ready for the start of the season Thursday.
Diamondbacks: LHP T.J. McFarland (shoulder) will open the season on the injured list.
Arizona right-hander Merrill Kelly opposes Nova when the teams conclude spring training Tuesday afternoon with the second of a two-game series at Chase Field.
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