Spring Training Game Thirty – Cubs 7 Diamondbacks (ss) 4
WP – Hector Almonte (1-0) LP – D.J. Carrasco (1-1) Save – Rocky Cherry (4)
The Cubs faced a Diamondbacks split squad team that did not feature any of their regular players on get away day. The Diamondbacks play under the lights at Chase Field later on Thursday night with Randy Johnson expected to make the start….with that in mind the D’backs sent former Brewer Doug Davis to the hill against the Cubs. Davis pitched well early on but his inability to cover 1st base allowed the Cubs to battle back from an early deficit.
Wade Miller started for the Cubs and was not sharp in his final tune-up for the regular season. He fell behind early and often to most of the hitters he faced in his 3 innings of work. Miller had a 32-pitch 1st inning that included a walk to Rich Thompson to start the game. The game featured Ria Cortesio, the first female umpire to call a game in the Cactus League since 1989. The last game of the exhibition season in Mesa also set a new attendance record….12,917. The Cubs lineup featured three Cubs that will be in the opening day lineup….Jacque Jones in center, Mark DeRosa at 3rd and Matt Murton in left. And Lou Piniella started Tyler Colvin in right field and Mark Reed behind the plate….both made the trip from minor league camp and Colvin was 2-4 with a run scored and a RBI.
Wade Miller pitched 3 innings, gave up 3 runs, 2 earned, on 3 hits, walked 2 and struck out 1. The “Triple-A Diamondbacks” scored 2 of their 3 in the 1st inning. After the leadoff walk to Thompson, Donnie Sadler attempted a sacrifice bunt, Mark DeRosa threw the ball away and runners were on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Miguel Montero then doubled to left to plate both runs. Mark Reynolds grounded out to advance Montero to 3rd and with 2 outs Miller walked Jesus Cota. Miller was able to end the inning with a fly out to center by Chris Rahl.
Mark Erickson doubled off of Miller to lead off the 2nd and scored on a single by Rich Thompson after a sacrifice bunt by Doug Davis. Thompson stole 2nd but was stranded in scoring position. Miller threw a 1-2-3 3rd inning to end his afternoon. Of the 3 hits Miller allowed, two were doubles.
Bobby Howry pitched a perfect 4th inning and was extremely sharp. Will Ohman gave up the lead in the 5th, he allowed a run on 2 hits. Thompson singled to start the inning, stole 2nd and scored on a double to left center off the bat of Mark Reynolds. Hector Almonte pitched two perfect innings (6th and 7th) and recorded the win….4 ground outs and 2 fly outs. Clay Rapada pitched the 8th….he struck out 1 and gave up a hit. Rocky Cherry pitched the 9th, gave up a hit and struck out 2….actually the last out of the spring was a swinging strikeout by Cherry.
The Cubs offense was led by Micah Hoffpauir’s 3-run homer in the 7th off of D.J. Carrasco. The Cubs scored single runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings and put up a 2 spot in the 4th. With 2 outs, Ronny Cedeno doubled and scored on a single by Tyler Colvin in the 2nd inning. Cedeno has really turned the corner in the last couple of weeks. He had a very good at bat and worked the count before the double. In the 2nd, Ryan Theriot singled, stole 2nd (with a very good slide) and scored on Matt Murton’s double to right. Murton advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch by Doug Davis but Daryle Ward struck out to end the inning.
In the 4th, Mark DeRosa doubled to lead off the inning, advanced to 3rd when Cedeno gave himself up by hitting to the right side of the field. DeRosa scored on an infield hit by Tyler Colvin….at least that is the way they scored it. Doug Davis actually broke late to cover the bag at 1st, the ball went off of his glove. DeRosa scored, Colvin was given a hit and advanced to 2nd. Aramis Ramirez made a pinch hit appearance and hit a bloop double down the right field line, just over 1st base to score Colvin.
In the 7th, Theriot singled up the middle, the ball actually ricocheted off the pitcher’s mound. Theriot advanced to 2nd on a ground out by Chris Walker. Matt Murton walked and both scored on Hoffpauir’s 3-run homer to right. Both Cedeno and Cliff Floyd reached base in the inning but the Cubs were unable to add to their lead.
The Cubs wrapped their Arizona portion of Spring Training with a win and finished with a 16-12-2 record in the desert….just two more left before Opening Day in the Queen City on Monday.
The Cubs start a 2-game series on Friday against the Seattle Mariners at Cashman Field in Las Vegas. The series is called “Big League Weekend”. Ted Lilly is scheduled to start Friday night’s game while Jason Marquis will take the hill in the last exhibition game of the spring.