X-Cellent – Cubs 4 Rangers 1

Game Fourteen – Cubs 4 Rangers 1
WP – Carlos Silva (2-1) LP – Neftali Feliz (0-1) Save – James Russell (1)

wflag.jpgIn front of the largest crowd of the spring at HoHoKam Park (13,157), the Cubs made quick order of the Texas Rangers in two hours and eight minutes on Tuesday afternoon. The Cubs pitching staff limited a Rangers’ lineup of mostly backup players and minor leaguers to one run on three hits.

Carlos Silva tossed four innings of shutout ball. He retired the last seven batters he faced … and 10 of the last 11. Silva surrendered only two hits, hit a batter but did not issue a free pass. Esmailin Caridad did not allow a hit in his two innings of work. Caridad walked a batter but faced the minimum when Geovany Soto threw out Joaquin Arias attempting to steal second to end the fifth inning.

The Rangers lone run came in the eighth inning. Justin Smoak launched a solo home run over the right field wall off of Marcos Mateo. Mateo struck out three in his 1 1/3 innings of work.

James Russell stuck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth for the save.

Xavier Nady had a very good day at the ballpark. Nady hit a pair of doubles (left and right center), drove in two of the Cubs four runs and scored another in four trips to the plate. Nady delivered a two-out, two run double in the third inning that plated Ryan Theriot and Kosuke Fukudome. Nady then scored the Cubs’ third run on a two-out single by Marlon Byrd.

Jeff Baker hit his first longball of the spring in the seventh for the Cubs final run.

Ryan Theriot (2-for-3 with a run scored) and Tyler Colvin (1-for-1) continued their hot springs.

With the win, the Cubs improved to 9-5 in the Cactus League …

Mike Fontenot made a diving catch on a ball hit by Elvis Andrus in the first inning that helped Carlos Silva work around a bloop single and a hit batsman. After the first, Silva allowed only one hit. He threw strikes and kept the ball down for the most part.

While it is just spring training and the Rangers did not have their big bats in the lineup on Tuesday, Carlos Silva showed improvement in his third start.

The Cubs did very little against Neftali Feliz in the first 2 2/3 innings of the game. Geovany Soto began the third by fouling out to Chris Davis at first … and Chad Tracy flied out to center. Ryan Theriot reached on a bloop single with two outs that started the three-run rally.

Kosuke Fukudome followed Theriot with a double down the third base line. Xavier Nady then stepped in and showed why the Cubs signed him. Nady ripped a 1-2 pitch from Feliz into left. Nady’s first double plated Theriot and Fukudome.

Marlon Byrd worked the count to 3-2 before driving in Nady with the Cubs’ third run.

Other than Jeff Baker’s home run, C.J. Wilson handled the Cubs’ offense pretty well. Wilson struck out five in his four innings of work. The Cubs had a chance to tack on in the eighth but failed to take advantage of runners on second and third with no outs.

Tyler Colvin singled to center on a 3-2 pitch from the southpaw Wilson. Xavier Nady then hit his second double, a ground rule shot into right center. James Adduci grounded out to third, Micah Hoffpauir grounded out to second and Sam Fuld grounded out to second to end the inning. Colvin and Nady were stranded …

The Cubs got their work in on Tuesday … and received much-needed performances from several players that figure into their plans for the upcoming season.

Box Score from MLB.com

A majority of the team will take Wednesday off, the teams only scheduled off day of the spring. Jeff Samardzija will pitch in a minor league game on Wednesday.

Ryan Dempster is scheduled to face the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch on Thursday.

Quote of the Day

"There are only two seasons ... winter and baseball." - Bill Veeck

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