Cubs’ Bats Electric in Tucson – Cubs 10 Diamondbacks 7

Game Twenty – Cubs 10 Diamondbacks 7
WP – Jason Waddell (1-0) LP – Kyler Newby (0-1, BS 1) Save – David Patton (1)

wflag.jpgThe Cubs hit four home runs off of Diamondbacks pitching on Sunday that accounted for seven of their 10 runs. Micah Hoffpauir gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead off of Brandon Webb in the third inning with one swing of the bat. Hoffpauir’s long drive to the right of straight away center followed a two-out single by Joey Gathright and a walk by Ryan Theriot.

Brad Snyder tied the game at four in the eighth and Mike Fontenot followed with his third of the spring. The back-to-back jacks gave the Cubs a 5-4 lead. Welington Castillo added a 2-run shot later in the inning, his first of the spring.

Rich Harden made his second start of the spring and was incredibly sharp in the first two innings. Harden struck out a pair in the first and retired Arizona in order on just 17 pitches, 13 for strikes. Harden breezed through the second. He retired the heart of the Diamondbacks order on three flyball outs and six pitches.

Harden ran into trouble in the third and could not finish the inning. Harden gave up three hits, including a home run to Chris Snyder, walked three and gave up three runs while recording only two outs. Harden walked Chad Tracy with the bases loaded to force in the tying run before Lou Piniella decided he had seen enough. Harden threw 25 pitches, 12 for strikes in 2/3 of an inning.

Kevin Hart struck out Mark Reynolds swinging with the bases loaded to end the third inning.

Hart put together one of his better outings of the spring against the free-swinging Diamondbacks lineup. Hart struck out three of the four hitters he faced in 1 1/3 innings of work.

For the first time this spring Jose Ascanio struggled. He surrendered three runs on three hits with a walk in the ninth while recording only two outs. Piniella had to summon David Patton from the pen and he struck out Ryan Roberts to end the game.

The power from Micah Hoffpauir off of one of the best pitchers in the National League was clearly the highlight of the afternoon…along with the two superb innings turned in by Rich Harden.

With the game being in Tucson all of the veterans received a day off to avoid the long ride from Mesa…then back again. With one of the best in the business taking the mound for the Diamondbacks, Sunday’s exhibition game figured to be a low-scoring affair, but…

Rich Harden and Brandon Webb were both sharp on Sunday in a preview of a possible regular season match-up. Harden just got into trouble throwing strikes in the incredibly long third inning before Lou Piniella brought in Kevin Hart to cleanup the mess.

Harden was very good in the first two innings and pitched ahead in the count. The three swinging strikeouts he recorded were of Justin Upton and Chris Young twice. The D’Backs jumped on first pitches in the second inning and were unsuccessful. They did the same in the third with much-better results.

Chris Snyder led off the third with a home run to left on a 0-1 pitch. Josh Wilson worked a walk and Justin Upton’s double came on the first pitch. James Skelton also swung at the first pitch and singled to left. Harden reached back and struck out Chris Young on three pitches but walked Connor Jackson to load the bases.

Chad Tracy walked on four pitches with the bases loaded that forced in Justin Upton with the tying run.

Jeff Stevens served up Mark Reynolds’ first long ball of the spring in the sixth that broke the 3-3 tie.

Jason Waddell worked around a mental error and his own throwing error in the seventh and kept the D’Backs from tacking onto their lead. Waddell induced an inning ending 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Rusty Ryal.

Micah Hoffpauir and Mike Fontenot once again led the Cubs’ offense. Hoffpauir hit a rare 3-run blast off of Brandon Webb in the third and just missed another home run in the eighth.

Joey Gathright (2-for-5 with 2 runs scored) stole second and third in the ninth and scored on an infield single by Brad Snyder. So Taguchi drove in Snyder with a single to center and the Cubs’ tenth run came off a single to center by Ty Wright.

Box Score from MLB.com

The Cubs will face the Brewers for the second time this spring in Maryvale on Monday. Jeff Samardzija is expected to face Dave Bush. Milton Bradley and Derrek Lee will make the trip and the Cubs will reportedly make more roster changes on Monday.

Quote of the Day

"There are only two seasons ... winter and baseball." - Bill Veeck

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