Game Sixteen – Cubs 2 Team Japan 3
WP – Yu Darvish (1-0) LP – Carlos Zambrano (0-1) Save – Kyuji Fujikawa (1)
It took three weeks, but Kosuke Fukudome finally played a game at HoHoKam Park…too bad he was in the wrong uniform. Fukudome started in center and finished the afternoon 1-for-4, a RBI single to center in the sixth off of David Patton.
The Cubs lost to Team Japan on Thursday afternoon in Mesa after Carlos Zambrano allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits in four innings. Zambrano threw the ball well in his longest outing of the spring…the second run for Team Japan off Zambrano scored on a passed ball by Paul Bako.
The Cubs out hit Team Japan but could not come through with the big hit with runners in scoring position. Derrek Lee hit his second double of the spring and of the Cubs 10 hits, four were two-baggers including another extra base hit for Micah Hoffpauir.
Lou Piniella ran out another starting lineup that could take the field during the regular season. Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez were held hitless and left six on base. Milton Bradley finished 1-for-3 and left a pair on, including Lee in scoring position in the fifth.
The Cubs bullpen allowed one run over the last five innings on three hits. Kevin Gregg put together another scoreless outing and Angel Guzman struck out one and surrendered just one hit in the seventh. David Patton gave up the third run to Team Japan in the sixth. Randy Wells worked around an error in the ninth and Neal Cotts tossed a scoreless eighth.
Paul Bako drove in Fontenot with a single to center and cut Team Japan’s lead to 2-1 at the time.
The Cubs tried another late inning comeback. Down 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Jake Fox led off with a double to center. So Taguchi followed with another double to center that scored Fox.
With the tying run on second, Andres Blanco lined out to first and Micah Hoffpauir struck out swinging. Kyuji Fujikawa uncorked a wild pitch with Doug Deeds at the plate. Taguchi advanced to third…but Deeds struck out swinging to end the game.
The Cubs play their last split squad games of the spring on Friday. Both games start at 3:05pm C.T. with half the team staying at home and hosting the Seattle Mariners. Sean Marshall will make the start against the Mariners while Chad Gaudin and the remainder of the roster will make the short trip to Tempe to face the Angels.
Gaby Hernadez will start for a split squad Mariners’ team…and Dustin Moseley is scheduled to take the hill at the beginning of the game for the Angels.