Game Twenty-Seven – Cubs 5 Mariners 3
WP – Carlos Zambrano (2-1) LP – Cesar Jimenez (1-1) Save – Randy Wells (1)
The Cubs won their fourth spring game in a row for the first time since the beginning of the exhibition season in large part to Carlos Zambrano. Big Z completed his longest outing of the spring and for the most part was extremely sharp.
Zambrano allowed one run, a solo home run by Chris Woodward in the third, on four hits in six innings. Zambrano hit a batter but did not issue a free pass and struck out six on the afternoon. Zambrano doubled in the fifth and eventually scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly to right by Aaron Miles.
Alfonso Soriano drove in two of the Cubs’ five runs with a 2-out RBI single in the sixth. Soriano had another good day at the plate. He showed a lot of patience and worked the count in his four trips to the plate.
Milton Bradley added another two hit day and his lost-in-the-sun double led to the winning run. Derrek Lee was 1-for-2 with a double to right and a walk in his first game action in six days.
Carlos Marmol hung a slider to Mike Wilson in the seventh that resulted in the Mariners’ second run. Marmol struck out three but was inconsistent. He threw 24 pitches in an inning of work, 16 for strikes.
Angel Guzman retired all three batters he faced in the eighth. Again, Guzman was inconsistent but teased with great pitches in the strike zone. He threw 13 pitches in an inning of work, eight for strikes.
Randy Wells struggled with his command at the beginning of the ninth. He threw five straight out of the zone before he settled down. Wells gave up a run in his inning of work and threw 14 pitches, eight for strikes.
The Cubs did not set another attendance record or light up the scoreboard on Sunday, they went about their business got their work in and crossed another game off the long Cactus League schedule. The Cubs scored all five of their runs in the fifth through seventh innings. With the game tied at one, Milton Bradley led off the sixth with a gift double. Franklin Gutierrez lost the fly ball in the high Arizona sky. Sam Fuld pinch ran and advanced to third on a single to left by Aramis Ramirez…the ball took a bad hop on Chris Woodward and ended up in left field.
Bobby Scales ran for Ramirez and with runners on first and third with no outs, Geovany Soto (0-for-1 with a run scored and two walks) walked to load the bases. Andres Blanco grounded out to third, the ball kicked off the third baseman’s glove straight to Chris Woodward. Woodward threw out Blanco but Fuld scored the go-ahead run.
With runners on second and third, Joey Gathright walked to re-load the bases.
Randy Messenger replaced Cesar Jimenez and struck out pinch hitter Mike Fontenot. Alfonso Soriano stepped in and ripped a 1-1 pitch into left center. Scales and Soto both scored.
Sam Fuld reached on a 1-out single in the eighth and after a double to center by Bobby Scales scored on a single to left by Paul Bako.
Ronny Cedeno was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts (one by Zambrano and the other by Marmol) against his former team.
Lou Piniella’s crew will make the short trip on Monday to Phoenix to face the Oakland A’s….Ryan Dempster against southpaw Dana Eveland. Former Cub, Nomar Garciaparra is expected to be in the starting lineup.