Game Six – Cubs 1 Giants 5
WP – Jonathan Sanchez (1-0) LP – Carlos Zambrano (0-1) Save – None
Lou Piniella’s crew lost their second game in a row after a bad third inning from Carlos Zambrano on Wednesday afternoon. Zambrano breezed through his first two innings of work. He retired all six of the seven batters he faced on just 14 pitches, 11 for strikes … then the third inning happened.
Zambrano allowed the first three Giants hitters to reach in the third. Aaron Rowand loaded the bases with a bloop single to right on the ninth pitch of the at bat. Zambrano then hit Eugenio Velez to force in the first run of the game.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Pablo Sandoval hit a 2-0 pitch from Zambrano over the wall in right. Sandoval’s grand slam capped the five-run third inning.
The Giants batted around against Zambrano in the third but Z was able to induce a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Juan Uribe to end the inning.
In three innings, Carlos Zambrano allowed five runs on six hits with a walk, a strikeout and a hit a batter.
The Cubs’ pen did not allow the Giants to tack on over the final six innings.
The Cubs out-hit the Giants, 9-7, but managed just one run. Aramis Ramirez drove in pinch runner Micah Hoffpauir with a double in the fourth.
With the loss the Cubs slipped to .500 on the spring with three wins and three losses. The best news to come out of Mesa on Wednesday was the spring debut of Xavier Nady. Nady served as the Cubs’ DH and recorded a single on his first at bat of the day. Nady finished the game 1-for-2 with a walk.
Ryan Theriot and Starlin Castro combined for a 5-for-5 afternoon out of the leadoff spot. Theriot (3-for-3) stole second in the third but was picked off first in the first inning. The Cubs offense could not string any hits together. They finished the day 1-for-11 with RISP and left a total of 11 men on base.
After Zambrano’s day was over, Lou Piniella used six different pitchers to finish the game.
John Grabow showed improvement in his second outing of the spring. He worked around a 2-out throwing error by Aramis Ramirez … and threw strikes.
Thomas Diamond made his spring debut and retired the Giants in short order in the seventh. Diamond sat down Aaron Rowand on a pop out to Darwin Barney. After falling behind 3-1 in the count, he struck out Eugenio Velez for the second out before getting Pablo Sandoval to pop out to Jeff Baker at third base.
Carlos Silva is scheduled to face the Padres in Peoria on Thursday afternoon. Bud Black will run out Jon Garland to start the game.