Game Thirty-One – Cubs 9 White Sox 4
WP – Carlos Zambrano (3-1) LP – Clayton Richard (1-2) Save – None
Lou Piniella’s crew won the spring series against the White Sox in front of another record crowd…after a huge first inning. The Cubs sent 11 to the plate, scored seven times and knocked out Clayton Richard after just a third of an inning. Richard retired only one of the eight batters he faced.
Alfonso Soriano was 2-for-2 in the first inning with a single, a run scored and a 2-out RBI double. Koyie Hill came through with the other big hit, a two-run double that ended Richard’s day.
Carlos Zambrano put together a very good outing and struggled in only one of his six innings. Big Z allowed a couple of runs in the fourth after Kosuke Fukudome misplayed a ball in center but a nice running catch by Alfonso Soriano two batters earlier kept the Sox from a bigger inning. Zambrano allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts in six innings. At the plate, Zambrano was 0-for-2 with two RBI
Kosuke Fukudome made his Cub debut on Friday afternoon. Fukudome singled to right center and scored the Cubs’ second run in the first inning…he finished 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
Carlos Marmol did not pitch as expected on Friday. No official word as to why his back-to-back outing was delayed. Angel Guzman was inconsistent once again. He gave up a home run to Brian Anderson in the seventh but struck out two of the five batters he faced, with no walks. The ability is there with Guzman, the only question is…can he put it together at the big league level with the Cubs?
The Cubs and White Sox set a new Cactus League attendance record on Friday afternoon at HoHoKam Park. Last Saturday the Cubs and Sox saw 13,311 fans go through the turnstile…on Friday, 13,327 went through the gates in Mesa. The Cubs patience set the tone in the first inning. It was a textbook inning of how to make a pitcher work. Alfonso Soriano, who has been showing a lot of discipline at the plate in recent days, worked the count to 3-1. Soriano singled to right and Kosuke Fukudome followed with a single to right center.
Derrek Lee (2-for-4 with a run scored, a RBI and a double) drove in the first run with a single to left. Fukudome advanced to third and after Milton Bradley walked to load the bases, Fukudome scored on a 5-4 fielder’s choice. The chopper by Aramis Ramirez on a 2-2 pitch forced Bradley at second.
Aaron Miles drove in Lee with a single to right and Ryan Theriot walked to re-load the bases. Koyie Hill then doubled down the third base line past a diving Josh Fields.
Ozzie Guillen made the walk and replaced Clayton Richard with D.J. Carrasco.
Carlos Zambrano drove in Theriot with a groundout to short and Soriano reached on a ground rule double to right. Koyie Hill scored the seventh and final run of the inning.
The Cubs went down in order in the second (strikeouts of Lee, Bradley and Ramirez) but added to their lead in the third.
Aaron Miles (3-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored) led off the inning with a single to center. Ryan Theriot followed with another single to center and Koyie Hill walked to load the bases.
Carlos Zambrano grounded into a force out. Josh Kroeger fielded the grounder, threw out Hill at second but the return throw from Alexei Ramirez got away from Carrasco. Aaron Miles and Ryan Theriot both scored.
Milton Bradley and Alfonso Soriano turned in excellent defensive plays on Friday afternoon.
Ryan Dempster is scheduled to make the start against the Rockies on Saturday…after the long trip to Tucson. Ubaldo Jimenez is slated to start for Colorado…and Pat and Ron will broadcast the game on WGN Radio.