Surprise! Surprise! The Cubs Pen Can’t Hold a Lead – Cubs 5 Royals 5

Game Twenty-One – Cubs 5 Royals 5 – 9 Innings
WP – None LP – None Save – None

Lou Piniella’s crew played to a tie for the second time in their last three Cactus League games. The Cubs bullpen blew three different leads on Tuesday afternoon against the Royals after Ryan Dempster departed in the sixth with a 3-1 lead.

Aramis Ramirez returned to the lineup for the first time since March 13. Ramirez drove in the Cubs’ first run with a two-out single in the fourth inning. Ramirez finished the game 2-for-3 with a RBI.

Derrek Lee drove in a pair of runs with a double to right center in the sixth.

Tyler Colvin continued his hot spring against the Royals. Colvin started the game in right, played all nine innings and finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a stolen base.

Ryan Dempster put together a solid outing in his longest start of the spring. Dempster allowed two runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Dempster threw five shutout innings and allowed just two hits until the sixth inning.

Alberto Callaspo tripled to start the sixth and scored on a sacrifice fly by Billy Butler. After Jose Guillen doubled off of Dempster, Carlos Marmol was summoned from the pen to end the inning.

Marmol struggled with his command in his 1 2/3 innings of work. Brayan Pena tied the game at three with his first home run of the spring off Marmol … a two-out, two-run shot to right. Marmol walked a batter and uncorked a wild pitch in the seventh but did not allow any more runs.

After Jeff Baker gave the Cubs the lead in the eighth, John Gaub likely punched his ticket to Iowa. Gaub gave up a run on two hits in the eighth.

The Cubs took the lead again in the ninth. Kevin Millar led off with a single to left and scored on a two-out single by Andres Blanco. But for the third time, the Cubs pen could not hold a lead.

The Royals strung together three straight singles off of Marcos Mateo and tied the game before the Cubs were able to record an out. Mateo ended up loading the bases before retiring Edwin Bellorin on a groundout that ended the game.

The Cubs and Royals decided enough was enough … the game was called after nine innings.

With the tie on Tuesday, the Cubs’ spring record stands at 11-8-2 …

Ryan Dempster did not retire the Royals in order once on Tuesday … but he found ways to keep the Royals off the board until the sixth inning.

Dempster worked around a leadoff single by Chris Getz in the first and a two-out walk by Billy Butler. Dempster recorded two of his six strikeouts in the bottom of the first … and ended the inning by striking out Jose Guillen with runners on first and second.

The Royals first two outs in the second came rather quickly with fly outs to right but Chad Tracy’s throwing error prolonged the inning. Dempster struck out Brian Anderson to end the inning.

Jose Guillen led off the fourth with a double but was thrown out at the plate as part of a 6-2-5-3 double play to end the inning. With one out, Brayan Pena hit a grounder to Ryan Theriot. Theriot threw to the plate and they caught Guillen in a run down. Pena then wondered too far off the bag and could not get back … Derrek Lee tagged him out to complete the double play.

In the fifth, Dempster worked around a two-out walk to Chris Getz.

Alberto Callaspo broke up the shutout after he led off the sixth with a triple to right center. Dempster retired Billy Butler on a flyout to right, but Callaspo tagged and scored the Royals first run.

Jose Guillen then doubled to left and ended Dempster’s day.

Carlos Marmol came out of the pen and struck out Jason Kendall for the second out. But Brayan Pena tied the game with one swing of the bat.

It is not too often a Major League boxscore shows three pitchers each with a blown save. But Carlos Marmol, John Gaub and Marcos Mateo earned a “make believe” one on Tuesday.

Box Score from MLB.com

The Cubs will return to Surprise on Wednesday … this time to play the Texas Rangers. Sean Marshall is scheduled to face Brandon McCarthy.


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