Spring Training Game Fifteen – Cubs 9 Mariners (ss) 3
WP – Ted Lilly (1-0) LP – Cha Seung Baek (0-2)
Cliff Floyd and Aramis Ramirez both homered, Alfonso Soriano was perfect at the plate and Ted Lilly gave up just one earned run in 3 2/3 innings as the projected opening day lineup out slugged the Mariners B-Team. Jacque Jones had a big day hitting in the 2-hole for the first time this spring and the Cubs had 7 extra base hits on the day.
Ted Lilly left the game after retiring the first 2 batters he faced in the 4th. The Cubs had Lilly on a strict pitch count and he hit his quota in under 4 innings. Lilly gave up 2 runs, 1 earned, on 4 hits, walked 1 and struck out 1 on the afternoon. Derrek Lee returned to the lineup and said he felt no effects from the awkward slide he took earlier in the week. The Cubs offense struck early against Mariners’ starter Cha Seung Baek….Alfonso Soriano singled to start the game and moved to 3rd on a double by Jacque Jones. With runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs both Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez struck out swinging. Cliff Floyd, in his 2nd start of the spring, hit a 3-run homer over the right field wall. Floyd did not play in the field, he was Piniella’s DH on the day.
Other than a Matt Murton single in the 2nd the Cubs offense was quiet. In the 3rd Soriano led off the inning with a triple to left and scored on Jones’ single to center. With one out Aramis Ramirez hit his 2nd home run of the spring over the left field wall….Barrett struck out swinging for the second time on the day to end the inning.
Soriano led off the 5th inning with a single to center and stole 2nd base. The offense was unable to advance him any further….both Jones and Lee struck out. Felix Pie doubled in the 7th and despite a wild pitch that moved him to 3rd, the Cubs were unable to plate Pie….the leadoff spot on Thursday was 4-4 and just a home run short of the cycle.
The Cubs completed their scoring in the 8th after a lead off single by Daryle Ward, Cliff Floyd doubled and Micah Hoffpauir pinch ran for him. A wild pitch scored Ward from 3rd, Geovany Soto doubled to score Hoffpauir and with 2 outs Tomas Perez singled in Soto.
Ryan Theriot saw his first action of the spring in right….he replaced Jones in the 8th and did not receive an at bat. Cesar Izturis had a rough day at the park….he was 0-2, grounded into two double plays and his throwing error (over the head of Derrek Lee) cost the Cubs a run in 2nd.
Ted Lilly was effective despite throwing a lot of pitches in just under 4 innings of work. Lilly had a lot of 3 ball counts but did keep the ball down for the most part. He admittedly did not have his best command on the day….he threw behind in the count on most of the afternoon. Lilly recorded 5 groundouts on the day with half of the pitches he threw being sinkers. Bobby Howry gave up a lead off triple in the 5th to former Cub Rey Ordonez then walked Willie Bloomquist. Howry was able to get a double play ball off the bat of Jeremy Reed….but Ordonez was allowed to score. Scott Eyre threw a perfect 6th and stuck out one. Carlos Marmol had control problems again, walked 2 but did not allow a hit or a run in his inning of work….he faced 5 batters. Will Ohman faced the minimum in the 9th to end the game….3 fly outs.
The Cubs played a good game while showcasing the possible offensive fireworks they will have throughout the season….6 runs with the everyday players while Michael Barrett and Derrek Lee were a combined 0-6 with 4 strikeouts.
The Cubs make the 2-hour trip to Tucson to face the White Sox for the second time this spring. Angel Guzman is scheduled to make the start against Javier Vazquez. Mark Prior and Jason Marquis are scheduled to throw in minor league games against the Oakland A’s farm teams at Fitch Park on Friday.