Game Twenty-Nine – Cubs 9 Rockies 8
WP – Kevin Gregg (1-0) LP – Greg Smith (0-2) Save – Chad Fox (1)
Lou Piniella’s crew won their sixth spring game in a row behind a huge day from the offense. Milton Bradley led the hit parade and both Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano drove in a pair of runs. Bradley was 3-for-4 with a double and his second home run in the last week. He racked up seven total bases, drove in a run and scored another.
The Cubs pounded out 13 hits, seven for extra bases that included four doubles, a triple by Reed Johnson and Bradley’s home run. For the first time this spring, ‘The Big Three‘ of Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez each drove in a run.
Chad Gaudin made what was reportedly his last start of the spring and continued to struggle on the mound. Gaudin pitched the first two innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on two hits with a pair of walks and two strikeouts. Gaudin figures to be the long-man out of the pen when the season starts.
Neal Cotts recovered from his ninth inning debacle on Monday and retired the only two batters he faced in the third inning. Kevin Gregg, pitching on back-to-back days, retired the only batter he faced in relief of Cotts.
Randy Wells allowed the Rockies’ third run in the fourth. After issuing a one-out walk to Clint Barmes, Christian Colonel doubled him home.
Neither Jeff Samardzija nor Mike Stanton helped their cause on Tuesday. The Shark gave up two more runs on three hits with a walk in an inning of work. Stanton surrendered three runs on three hits that included a 2-run home run by Daniel Ortmeier.
David Patton issued his second walk of the spring and in as many days in the eighth…but did not allow a run or a hit. Chad Fox picked up the save with a scoreless ninth.
For as good as the offense was on Tuesday, the pitching-by-committee was just as bad. The Cubs issued five walks, hit a batter and struck out only four. Alfonso Soriano (2-for-2 with two walks and two RBI) led off the game with a single to left. He was thrown out at second trying to stretch it into a double. Ryan Theriot followed with a double of his own and scored on a single to Matt Murton in right by Derrek Lee.
After the first hit of the day by Milton Bradley (a single to right), Derrek Lee scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Aramis Ramirez.
Milton Bradley led off the third with a home run to left field. Reed Johnson reached with 2-outs after a fielding error and scored on a double to center by Geovany Soto.
In the fifth, Reed Johnson and Geovany Soto walked to start the inning. So Taguchi singled in Johnson…Soto ended up at third. Alfonso Soriano then doubled in Soto and Taguchi…he advanced to third on the throw to the plate.
Milton Bradley led off the sixth with a double to center. Joey Gathright pinch ran for him and scored on Reed Johnson’s triple to center. Geovany Soto then drove in Johnson with a sacrifice fly to Matt Murton in right.
Wednesday is the Cubs’ final off day of the spring and their last until April 5. Rich Harden is scheduled to throw in a minor league game at Fitch Park on Wednesday.
The Cubs’ next contest is a night game in Scottsdale against the Giants on Thursday. Sean Marshall is scheduled to make the start while the Cubs lineup will feature Kosuke Fukudome for the first time this spring.