Kissing the Royals – Cubs 8 Royals 8

Game Thirty-Four – Cubs 8 Royals 8 – 10 innings

For the first time this spring Lou Piniella’s crew did not win or lose on Monday afternoon, the game was called after 10 innings with the Cubs and Royals tied at eight. Rich Harden made his third start of the spring and gave up only four hits…but three of them were home runs that accounted for four of the five runs he allowed in 4 2/3 innings.

Alex Gordon hit a pair of dingers off Harden and Mark Teahen added one to lead off the fourth. Rich Harden, for the most part, pitched a good game, but was inconsistent…as his line would indicate. Harden gave up five runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts on Monday.

Aaron Heilman struck out the only batter he faced in relief of Rich Harden. Heilman threw four pitches to Mark Teahen.

Carlos Marmol responded to not being named the team’s closer with his best outing of the spring. Marmol was his old nasty self. He retired the Royals in order in the sixth with two strikeoutsMike Jacobs and Billy Butler swinging. Marmol threw eight pitches, all strikes.

Angel Guzman, Jeff Samardzija and Kosuke Fukudome allowed three runs in the bottom of the eighth. After Samardzija allowed the go ahead run to score, Fukudome called off Reed Johnson in right center then dropped the ball. Fukudome’s error cost the Cubs two runs.

Kosuke Fukudome made up for his error in the top of the ninth. He hit his first home run of the spring, a 2-run shot off of Joakim Soria that cut the Royals lead to 8-7…it was the first two runs of the spring allowed by the Royals closer.

Milton Bradley put together a perfect day at the plate and his double of the ninth led to the tying run. Bradley finished 4-for-4 with a walk and a run scored in five trips. This just inMilton Bradley can hit.

Micah Hoffpauir added to his Major League leading RBI total with a 2-out, 2-run single in the fifth that tied the game at three.

The Cubs knocked another game off the exhibition schedule and have only three left in Arizona…

Here are a few of the notable highlights…as well as the lowlights from Monday:

Highlights

  • Rich Harden retired the Royals in order with two strikeouts, both looking in the first inning.
  • Aramis Ramirez doubled in the fourth that led to the Cubs’ first run on a sacrifice fly by Mike Fontenot.
  • Koyie Hill was 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored on the day he found out he would serve as Geovany Soto’s backup.
  • Micah Hoffpauir picked up Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome with a 2-out, 2-run single to right in the fifth.
  • Aaron Heilman replaced Harden with two on and two out in the fifth and struck out the only batter he faced on four pitches.
  • Aaron Miles hit his first home run of the spring. A 2-run shot to right in the sixth that tied the game.
  • Carlos Marmol was Senor Nasty for the first time this spring.
  • Angel Guzman threw a very good first inning of relief and allowed only one hit in the seventh.
  • Jason Waddell made the trip with the big league team. Lou Piniella brought him in to face Mike Jacobs. The southpaw threw one pitch to the left-handed batter with runners on first and third and only one out…Jacobs popped out to Aaron Miles at short.
  • Kosuke Fukudome, after a horrible day at the plate and not hitting the ball out of the infield, hit his first home run of the spring…a no-doubter off one of the best closers in the American League. Could this be the moment that puts Fukudome back on track?
  • Cubs pitchers struck out 13 batters on Monday.

Lowlights

  • Rich Harden’s first seven pitches in the second inning were balls. The four-pitch walk to Jose Guillen led to the Royals first run.
  • Angel Guzman allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits in 1/3 of an inning in the eighth.
  • Kosuke Fukudome dropped a routine fly ball in the bottom of the eighth. Fukudome appeared to call off Reed Johnson. The ball went in and out of Fukudome’s glove. The error cost the Cubs two runs.

Box Score from MLB.com

The Cubs will play host to the Angels on Tuesday afternoon. Sean Marshall is scheduled to face Nick Adenhart.

Quote of the Day

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

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