Game Seven – Cubs 8 Padres 7
WP – Carlos Silva (1-1) LP – Jon Garland (0-1) Save – None
The Cubs jumped out to an early lead on Jon Garland and the Padres. Garland could not find the strike zone. Garland walked in the first run of the game and the Cubs scored four runs on three hits with three walks in 1 2/3 innings against the former South Sider.
The Cubs young offense pounded out 12 hits, four for extra bases and built an 8-1 lead before the defense forgot how to catch the ball. The Padres scored seven runs in the last three innings … all unearned.
Carlos Silva put together a better outing. The Padres hit him pretty hard and Sam Fuld’s catch against the wall in left center took an extra base hit away from Scott Hairston … and ended the inning. Silva allowed four hits, two doubles, in three innings with a walk and no strikeouts.
Carlos Marmol completed a perfect inning of work, with a strikeout. Marmol followed Silva and threw just eight pitches, six for strikes, in his third tune-up of the spring.
Starlin Castro ended his first week of big league games with another impressive performance. Castro hit his first home run of the spring … and finished the game 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk, two RBI and three runs scored.
Tyler Colvin (2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored), Bryan LaHair (2-for-4 with a double, a walk, a RBI and a run scored), Robinson Chirinos (1-for-2 with a walk, a two-run homer and two RBI) and Sam Fuld (1-for-4 with a double and a run scored) stood out on an afternoon that Lou Piniella played a lot of non-roster invitees.
Vince Perkins, David Patton and Steve Clevenger finally made their spring debuts on Thursday in Peoria.
With the win, the Cubs improved to 4-3 in the Cactus League …
Jon Garland could not throw a strike. He walked Bryan LaHair on four pitches to force in Castro … 1-0 Cubs.
Mike Fontenot hit a tailor-made double play to short, but the ball was bobbled. Colvin scored as Millar was forced at second. Chad Tracy grounded out to second to end the inning.
Sam Fuld reached on a two-out double in the second. Castro followed with a single to right that plated Fuld with the Cubs third run. Tyler Colvin collected his second hit of the game. Colvin ripped Garland’s first pitch into right that plated Castro … 4-0 Cubs.
Both Castro and Colvin advanced to second when the throws went to the plate. The smart baserunning led to a run …
Kevin Millar popped out to left center to end the inning.
Starlin Castro homered to left in the fifth for the Cubs’ fifth run.
The Cubs offense cranked it up again in the sixth and seventh innings. Chad Tracy led off the sixth with a single to left. Robinson Chirinos followed with a home run to left.
Bryan LaHair scored the Cubs final run in the seventh. LaHair reached on a two-out single off of Luke Gregerson. Mike Fontenot walked. With runners on first and second with two outs, Josh Vitters singled to left and plated LaHair.
The Cubs defense committed three of their four errors in the last three innings … the miscues led to all seven runs. Mike Fontenot (at shortstop), Bobby Scales and Josh Vitters just could not make the plays.
The Padres got on the board in the seventh when Luis Durango scored on a throwing error by Josh Vitters.
The Padres, with help from the defense and Jeff Stevens, scored three in the eighth.
Chris Denorfia reached on a fielding error from Bobby Scales with one out. Scales and Brad Snyder collided on a ball hit in shallow right. The ball hit Scales’ glove and fell to the ground.
After Stevens struck out Chad Huffman, Michael Collins doubled in Denorfia. Stevens walked Luis Durango and Logan Forsythe to load the bases with two outs. Lou Piniella made the slow walk and brought in Esmailin Caridad.
Caridad allowed two inherited runners to score on a single to center by Lance Zawadzki. Matt Antonelli struck out swinging to end the inning.
After Josh Vitters misplayed a ball in shallow left that led to a one-out double by Aaron Cunningham in the ninth, Chris Denorfia flied out to right.
Cunningham scored on a two-out fielding error by Mike Fontenot at short. Fontenot could not field a ball hit by Chad Huffman.
Michael Collins then drove in Huffman on a single to left … 8-6 Cubs. Luis Durango doubled in Collins to cut the Cubs lead to one run. Caridad settled down and retired Logan Forsythe to end the game.
The Cubs have split-squad games for the next two days. Half of the roster will be in Las Vegas for the annual Big League weekend at Cashman Field against the White Sox.
Tom Gorzelanny will face the Sox in Vegas on Friday while Jeff Samardzija will stay behind and face the Brewers in Maryvale.