Game Twenty-Seven – Cubs 8 Reds 1
WP – Randy Wells (3-0) LP – Carlos Fisher (0-1) Save – None
Lou Piniella’s crew began the last week of games in Arizona with a win over division rivals the Cincinnati Reds. It was a bullpen day for the Reds as Dusty Baker used seven different pitchers to get through nine innings … while Homer Bailey pitched in a minor league game.
Dusty ran out his B-Team of pitchers, but Baker’s starting lineup on Monday was similar to the one he will begin the season with next week.
Randy Wells put together a solid outing against Major League hitters. Some outings during the spring a pitcher can pad their stats against players trying to make a team, that was not the case for Wells on Monday at HoHoKam Park.
Wells held the Reds to one run on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings with a walk and five strikeouts. If Lou Piniella had left him in, Wells would have qualified for a ‘quality‘ start.
The bullpen did a good job in relief of Wells. Justin Berg threw only one pitch to close out the sixth. Sean Marshall threw two innings of shutout ball and James Russell allowed only one hit in the ninth. Over the final 3 1/3 innings, Cubs’ pitching allowed two hits, one walk and struck out five … 10 total k’s on the afternoon for the Chicago Cubs.
Tyler Colvin drove in the game’s first run with a double to center in the first inning. Colvin added another RBI in the seventh and finished the game 1-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI.
Marlon Byrd hit his fourth home run of the spring in the first inning that gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
Mike Fontenot and Jeff Baker each hit longballs in the eighth off of Matt Maloney.
With the win on Monday, the Cubs improved to 15-9-3 … only six more practice games. Randy Wells did not do anything spectacular on Monday… he just did his job. Wells kept the ball down, threw strikes and did not allow the Reds to string any hits together. Wells recorded eight groundball outs to just three fly ball outs.
The Reds had opportunities in every inning against Randy Wells.
Wells worked around a two-out double by Joey Votto and his only walk of the afternoon to Brandon Phillips in the first. Wells struck out Scott Rolen swinging to get of the jam.
Jay Bruce led off the second with a single but Ramon Hernandez grounded out to third and Carlos Fisher struck out to end the inning.
In the third, Joey Votto singled to center with two outs but was thrown out at second to end the inning … it was that kind of day for the Reds’ offense against Randy Wells.
The Reds only run came in the fifth inning. Ramon Hernandez led off with a single to center. Wells struck out Jonny Gomes. Drew Stubbs hit a ground-rule double to right. With runners on second and third with one out, Orlando Cabrera grounded out to Chad Tracy. Hernandez scored on the fielder’s choice.
Juan Francisco hit for Joey Votto and grounded out to first to end the inning.
Wilkin Castillo led off the sixth with a single to right. Scott Rolen flied out and Jay Bruce struck out swinging for the second out of the inning. Piniella made the slow walk and lifted Wells for Justin Berg. Berg threw one pitch to Chris Burke and retired the former Houston Astro on a ground out to third.
The Cubs offense jumped on Carlos Fisher in the first inning. Ryan Theriot led off the inning with a single to center. After a balk was called that advanced Theriot to second, Tyler Colvin smashed a double off the base of the wall in center, Theriot scored … 1-0 Cubs.
Marlon Byrd followed with his fourth homer of the spring … a two-run shot put the Cubs up 3-0.
The Cubs offense was very quiet from the second inning until the seventh … only one hit, a single to left by Ryan Theriot.
Kip Wells took over in the seventh and hit Geovany Soto on a 0-2 pitch. Junior Lake ran for Soto and advanced to second on a single to right by Jeff Baker. Ryan Theriot (3-for-4 with a run scored) singled to center and loaded the bases with no outs.
Wells walked Kosuke Fukudome and forced in the Cubs’ fourth run.
Tyler Colvin then hit a one-hopper to Aaron Miles, the Reds could not turn two and Jeff Baker scored on the fielder’s choice. Marlon Byrd grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Micah Hoffpauir led off the eighth with a single to right. Mike Fontenot followed with his second homer of the spring … a two-run shot to right. Not to be outdone, Jeff Baker hit his second longball in the Cactus League two batters later … 8-1 Cubs.
The Cubs travel to Scottsdale on Tuesday to face the Giants … Tom Gorzelanny against Todd Wellemeyer.