Wells and Russell Shine in Cubs Loss – Cubs 3 Brewers 5

Game Five – Cubs 3 Brewers 5
WP – Macro Estrada (1-0) LP – Blake Parker (0-1) Save – A.J. Murray (1)

After rain delayed the start of the game 48 minutes, the Cubs faced the Brewers for the first time in 2010 on a cool afternoon in Mesa. Without a scoreboard until the eighth inning, the Cubs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.

Mike Fontenot drove in the game’s first run with a single to center in the second. Randy Wells knocked in the second run with a sacrifice fly two batters later. Derrek Lee hit his second home run of the spring in the third … all three runs came off of Jeff Suppan.

Randy Wells faced the minimum over his three innings of work … with two strikeouts. Wells allowed a hit to Craig Counsell, but picked him off first with Carlos Gomez at the plate. Wells made quick order of the Brewers in the second and recorded two of his four groundball outs in the third inning.

Carlos Marmol struggled a little with his command and gave up a run on a pair of hits and a walk in the fourth … but struck out three. Geovany Soto’s throwing error allowed the Brewers’ second run to score with Marmol on the mound.

James Russell struck out the side swinging in the eighth and should have helped his stock in the eyes of Lou Piniella.

Blake Parker took the loss on Tuesday after issuing a leadoff walk in the ninth to Adam Heether. After a sacrifice bunt advanced Heether to second, Joe Inglett put the Brewers ahead for good with a two-run shot that ended up in the Cubs’ pen just beyond the right field wall.

Despite the loss, there were several bright spots for the Cubs on a rainy, cold day in Mesa.

Randy Wells began the game by striking out Rickie Weeks … then he erased the only hit he has allowed in five Spring Training innings. Craig Counsell lined a single into center but after throwing a first pitch strike to Carlos Gomez, he picked Counsell off of first. Gomez then ripped a ball deep to left that Alfonso Soriano caught against the wall.

Wells retired Prince Fielder, Jim Edmonds and Jody Gerut quickly in the second inning.

After Randy Wells make quick order, once again, of the Brewers in the third, Carlos Marmol took over in the fourth.

Marmol gave up a leadoff single to Rickie Weeks. Weeks stole second with Craig Counsell at the plate, then he looked at strike three from Marmol.

Carlos Gomez ran the count full before looking at what was described as a very close pitch from Marmol. With runners on first and second, Prince Fielder put the Brewers on the board with a single to right center. Weeks scored … 3-1 Cubs.

Carlos Gomez broke for third with Jim Edmonds at the plate. Geovany Soto’s throw ended up in left, Gomez scored and Fielder ended up at second.

Marmol struck out Edmonds and Jody Gerut swinging to end his outing.

Casey Coleman survived 2 1/3 innings of work on Tuesday. Coleman gave up a run on three hits, uncharacteristically walked two, hit a batter and struck out one. Coleman was hit pretty hard.

Coleman retired Carlos Gomez and Prince Fielder to start the sixth. With two outs, Coleman hit Jim Edmonds. Jody Gerut hit a double to right that plated Edmonds with the tying run.

The Cubs two runs in the second came after back-to-back doubles by Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano. Byrd had to hold on Soriano’s drive off the wall in right center.

Mike Fontenot singled to center to plate Byrd with the Cubs’ first run.

After Jeff Suppan hit Geovany Soto to load the bases, Randy Wells hit a sacrifice fly in to right that plated Soriano with the Cubs’ second run.

With runners on first and third with one out, Ryan Theriot struck out swinging. One of the many improvements the Cubs must make this season is getting runs in from third with less than two outs …

Kosuke Fukudome grounded out to short to end the inning.

The Cubs had a chance to tack on in the fifth after a leadoff double by Ryan Theriot and a Kosuke Fukudome walk. Derrek Lee flied out to left, Aramis Ramirez fouled out to Prince Fielder and Marlon Byrd was robbed of extra bases by Carlos Gomez … the former Twins’ centerfielder covered a lot of ground and caught the ball as he was hitting the wall in left center.

The Cubs had a chance to take the lead in the eighth. Kevin Millar was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Sam Fuld sacrificed him to second and Starlin Castro reached on a infield single up the third base line. Micah Hoffpauir then struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch (again with one out and a man on third), Castro stole second … but was tagged out to end the inning when he over-slid the bag.

Box Score from MLB.com

Carlos Zambrano is scheduled to make his second start of the spring on Wednesday against the Giants at HoHoKam Park. Jonathan Sanchez will take the ball for the Giants.

Quote of the Day

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." - Albert Einstein