Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Brazil, White Sox prospect Rienzo fall to Cuba

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Sox prospect allows two runs over 4 2/3 innings

Shrugging off a terrible outing for the White Sox on Monday, prospect Andre Rienzo bounced back with four solid innings for underdog Brazil against Cuba in the World Baseball Classic on Sunday in Fukuoka, Japan.

In a 5-2 loss to Cuba, Rienzo allowed one hit, and, despite four walks, kept Brazil in the game with four scoreless innings. In the fifth inning, with runners on first and third, Rienzo induced what could have been an inning-ending double play to Guillermo Heredia but the runner on first was moving with the pitch and beat the throw to second. The relay was in time to retire Heredia at first, but a run scored.

Rienzo reached his pitch count, and Ernesto Noris came on in relief and allowed a run-scoring single to give Cuba a 2-0 lead. Rienzo, who didn't allow a hit till the fifth, was charged with two runs over 4 2/3 innings and finished with two strikeouts.

Rienzo's first spring outing with the Sox was better than his last one Monday in Scottsdale, Ariz., when he was tagged for five runs, failing to retire each of the five Giants he faced. He was originally scheduled to face Japan but was moved to match up against Cuba. Japan defeated Brazil 5-3 in their opener on Saturday.

Rienzo, a 6-3, 190-pound right-hander who had pitched better in his first Cactus League game for the Sox, showed a sense of humor after his rough outing in Scottsdale.

"I hope I start,'' Rienzo said after getting roughed up by the Giants. "I don't know if [Brazil manager] Barry Larkin saw the game today and changes it. I hope not.''

Rienzo posted a 7-3 record with a 2.53 ERA, 113 strikeouts and 42 walks over 103 1/3 innings combined at Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, AA Birminghan and AAA Charlotte last season.

Last year Rienzo was suspended 50 games for testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a synthetic anabolic steroid.

"I never took anything I didn't think I couldn't take,'' he said. "I learned you never take anything without knowing everything that's in it. Now I need to be more responsible."

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on March 3, 2013 3:43 AM.

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White Sox' Flowers easing into full-time catching duty is the next entry in this blog.

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