Game Thirty-One – Cubs 2 Rockies 0
WP – Carlos Marmol (1-1) LP – Matt Daley (0-1) Save – Esmailin Caridad (1)
Lou Piniella’s crew completed their spring stay in Mesa the same way it began, with a win. A majority of the Rockies everyday lineup tallied 10 hits but Piniella’s staff was able to keep them off the scoreboard.
Carlos Silva gave up six of the 10 hits in his five-plus innings of work. Silva did not walk a batter and struck out one. After a horrible start to the spring, Silva walked only two batters while striking out 11 in 21 1/3 innings.
Carlos Marmol struck out a pair in relief of Silva … Todd Helton looking and Troy Tulowitzki swinging.
Jeff Gray pitched his way in and out of trouble in the eighth and Esmailin Caridad gave up a pair of singles in the ninth but was able to induce a 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Melvin Mora to end the game.
Jeff Francis silenced the Cubs struggling offense for five innings. The Cubs managed only three hits and three walks against the Rockies’ southpaw. Matt Dailey replaced Francis in the sixth and served up the two-run home run to Alfonso Soriano.
The offense managed only six hits, three by Soriano. Derrek Lee set up the Soriano homer with a double in the sixth. Brett Jackson pinch-ran for Lee but Chad Tracy and Marlon Byrd both struck out … and could not advance Jackson in a scoreless game.
With two-outs, Soriano hit his second longball of the spring over the wall in left.
With the win, the Cubs improved their spring record to 17-11-3 … only two more exhibition games remaining on their schedule. For one of the few times this spring, the Cubs defense played a big role in winning a ballgame. Kosuke Fukudome showed why he is an above average right fielder.
Fukudome threw out Seth Smith in the second inning. Smith led off the inning with a hit to the right field corner. Smith tried to stretch it into a double and was thrown out by Fukudome.
After Dexter Fowler and Ryan Spilborghs reached on a walk and a single to start the eighth, Todd Helton flied out to left center for the first out of the inning. With runners on first and second with one out, Hector Gomez blooped a single into right center. Fukudome picked up the ball and threw out Spilborghs at second … a 9-6 fielder’s choice. Jeff Gray retired Jay Payton on a ground out to second to end the inning.
With Carlos Marmol on the mound in the sixth, Koyie Hill threw out Ryan Spilborghs trying to steal second.
Jeff Francis hit Aramis Ramirez in the hip to start the fourth inning. Ramirez appeared okay but was lifted for Chad Tracy.
The Cubs will stay in Arizona to finish out the exhibition season. The final two games will take place on Friday night and Saturday afternoon at Chase Field against the Diamondbacks. Ryan Dempster faces Rodrigo Lopez on Friday.