Cubs Play Longball on a Record Setting Day – Cubs 8 White Sox 4

Game Sixteen – Cubs 8 White Sox 4
WP – Randy Wells (2-0) LP – John Danks (0-1) Save – None

wflag.jpgThe Cubs and White Sox topped the single-game attendance record set by the Cubs and Dodgers on Thursday afternoon. 24 hours after 13,391 filled Camelback Ranch, 13,413 showed up to watch the Cubs beat the White Sox for the third time this spring.

The Cubs out-slugged the White Sox on Friday afternoon. Derrek Lee had a good day at the plate in his second game back. Lee hit his third home run of the spring and drove in three of the Cubs’ eight runs. Marlon Byrd added his second dinger in the Cactus League … and Alfonso Soriano and Xavier Nady went yard for the first time in the exhibition season.

Ryan Theriot continued swinging his hot bat. Theriot finished the game 2-for-3 and scored a pair of runs. Kosuke Fukudome tripled in Theriot with the game’s first run and scored on Derrek Lee’s sacrifice fly. Theriot and Fukudome were a combined 3-for-6 with three runs scored, a triple and a RBI.

Randy Wells put together a solid outing … and showed a lot of maturity in the fourth inning. Wells allowed two runs on six hits with a walk, a hit batsman and a strikeout in 4 2/3 innings.

Ozzie Guillen’s everyday lineup loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth and came away empty. The Sox did not hit a ball out of the infield against Wells, who made a couple of nice defensive plays along with Ryan Theriot.

James Russell helped his stock on Friday afternoon. Russell allowed only one hit in relief of Randy Wells.

The Cubs improved to 10-6 in the Cactus League with the win against the Sox …

While it is always a good day when the Cubs beat the White Sox, it is after all only Spring Training. With that said, several players turned in a good “day at the office.”

The Cubs need Randy Wells to improve on a very good rookie campaign in order to compete. In his last start against the Angels, Wells lost his command, could not find a rhythm and appeared to get frustrated on the mound. Wells took a positive step forward on Friday according to Larry Rothschild.

Wells did not face a b-team lineup. Ozzie Guillen ran out a starting nine, minus Alejandro De Aza that he will probably use on Opening Day. Wells not only bounced back from his last outing, but he showed the same maturity as a year ago.

After Ryan Theriot, Kosuke Fukudome and Derrek Lee gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the first (Theriot single, Fukudome a triple down the right field line, Lee a sacrifice fly to center), Wells retired the Sox in order in the first.

Wells worked around a pair of singles in the second without allowing a run.

Derrek Lee hit his third homer of the spring in the third. Ryan Theriot reached on a single to left center. With Fukudome at the plate, Theriot stole second. Kosuke flied out to left center … Theriot advanced to third on Juan Pierre. Lee then launched a 1-1 pitch from John Danks over the wall in left center. 4-0, Cubs.

Randy Wells issued a one-out walk to Juan Pierre in the bottom of the third. Pierre broke for second with Gordon Beckham at the plate. Beckham hit a double down the left field line. Pierre scored easily and cut the Cubs lead to 4-1. Wells retired Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko to end the inning.

Marlon Byrd led off the fourth with his second home run of the spring … 5-1 Cubs.

A.J. Pierzynski led off the fourth with a single to right. Wells hit Alexei Ramirez before giving up a single to Mark Kotsay that loaded the bases … with no outs. Wells ran the count to 3-2 on Mark Teahen before he hit a grounder back to Wells. Wells threw home to cut down Pierzynski.

Alejandro De Aza lined out to a leaping Ryan Theriot … and Wells got out of the jam by getting Juan Pierre to tap one back to the mound.

Gordon Beckham reached on an infield single to start the fifth. He advanced to second on Starlin Castro’s throwing error that sailed over Kevin Millar’s head at first base. Carlos Quentin grounded out to third, Beckham advanced on the play and scored on Paul Konerko’s sac fly to center.

With two outs and the Cubs up 5-2, Lou Piniella made the slow walk and brought in James Russell.

The young southpaw gave up a single to A.J. Pierzynski but retired Alexei Ramirez to end the inning.

Scott Linebrink replaced John Danks in the sixth. Marlon Byrd reached on a one-out single to right and scored on Alfonso Soriano’s first homer of the spring … a two-run shot, with a little help from the win, to left center.

James Russell retired Mark Kotsay, Mark Teahen and Alejandro De Aza in order in the sixth.

Andrew Cashner, who was assigned to minor league camp on Friday morning, could not find the strike zone. Cashner walked the bases loaded in the seventh … with no outs. Piniella brought in Marcos Mateo to try and keep the Sox off the board again.

Mateo stuck out Paul Konerko looking for the first out. Gave up a fielder’s choice groundout to Pierzynski that allowed Juan Pierre to score the Sox’s third run … but that was it. Mateo walked Alexei Ramirez to reload the bases. Then retired Mark Kotsay on a fly out to right. Inning over …

Xavier Nady hit his first longball of the spring off of J.J. Putz in the eighth. With the Cubs up 8-3, the Sox added a run in the ninth.

Box Score from MLB.com

Saturday is another split-squad day for the Cubs. Half of Lou Piniella’s crew will stay in Mesa and face the Royals … the other half will make the short drive to Phoenix to face the A’s. Carlos Zambrano will pitch at HoHoKam while Tom Gorzelanny will square off against Ben Sheets and the Oakland A’s.

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Quote of the Day

"The struggle you're in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don't give up." - Robert Tew
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