Pinch Hitting 101 with Reed Johnson – Cubs 5 Padres 3

Game Twenty-Five – Cubs 5 Padres 3
WP – Carlos Marmol (1-0) LP – Kevin Correia (0-1) Save – Kevin Hart (1)

wflag.jpgLou Piniella’s crew reached the .500 mark in the exhibition season on Friday afternoon in front of an All-Time Cactus League record crowd of 13,162. Rich Harden was slated to make the start against the Padres but was sent home with the flu after tossing a simulated game. Derrek Lee was scratched with more complications from his quad and is expected back in the lineup on Sunday.

Micah Hoffpauir filled in for Lee and tied the game in the third with his Major League leading 18th RBI of the spring. Hoffpauir plated Alfonso Soriano with a sacrifice fly to left.

Milton Bradley returned to the lineup after missing time with the flu and for the birth of his second child. Bradley drove in Ryan Theriot with the Cubs first run and added another single as a part of a 2-for-3 afternoon.

The big hit of the game came from pinch-hitter Reed Johnson. After Sam Fuld worked a 2-out walk in the fourth, Johnson hit for Carlos Marmol and knocked his first dinger of the spring over the left field wall.

Carlos Marmol picked up the win after two perfect innings of work that included a strikeout. Marmol and Kevin Gregg both worked multiple innings for the first time. Gregg struck out three and gave up a hit in 1 1/3 innings.

Jason Waddell finished the sixth and an unassisted double play by Micah Hoffpauir erased the walk issued by the southpaw. Angel Guzman put together a solid outing and struck out three in two scoreless.

Kevin Hart all but guaranteed starting the season in Iowa after his performance on Friday. Hart hit the first two batters he faced, erased one of his mistakes with a 4-6-3 double play before serving up a 2-out run scoring triple to Everth Cabrera.

Lou Piniella ran out a would-be everyday lineup on Friday with the exceptions of Sam Fuld and Mitch Atkins. The offense put together a decent afternoon and recorded 11 hits and four walks off of Padres’ pitching.

Alfonso Soriano has hit the ball much better of late and despite the recent outcomes, he is running this spring. Soriano finished 2-for-4 with a run scored. He was caught stealing in the first inning but he and Ryan Theriot (2-for-3 with a run scored) worked the hit and run to perfection in the third inning. Soriano has promised to run more in the upcoming season and if the spring is any indication, look out.

The hit and run set-up a manufactured run when Micah Hoffpauir flied out to left…two singles and a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs’ fifth and final run came in the seventh on a single to center by Esteban German.

The Padres two runs off of Mitch Atkins, both unearned, came after two outs in the first inning. Atkins was cruising along and appeared to retire the Padres in order but Mike Fontenot bobbled a ball that allowed Chase Headley to reach. Kyle Banks followed with his fourth home run of the spring to left.

Atkins issued back-to-back walks following the 2-run shot but settled down and retired Nick Hundley on a fly out to left.

Box Score from MLB.com

The Cubs will make their second trip of the week to Glendale on Saturday to face the White Sox. In a battle of southpaws, Sean Marshall is slated to face Mark Buehrle. The White Sox lead the spring series against the Cubs two games to one…with two left to play.

Quote of the Day

"Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us." - Earl Nightingale
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