Spring Training Game Thirteen – Cubs 2 Indians 1
WP – Andrew Cashner (1-0) LP – Vinnie Pestano (0-1) Save – None
For the third time in the last six games Q’s crew won an exhibition game in their last at bat. The Cubs offense was non-existent Thursday afternoon. They managed only four hits but two of those came in the bottom of the ninth.
James Adduci beat out a grounder to short to start the ninth. Fernando Perez attempted to sacrifice Adduci into scoring position. Perez bunted back to the pitcher, who tried to force Adduci at second. Adduci beat the throw … and the Cubs appeared to be in business.
After Scott Moore and Josh Vitters popped out to left and right, Brett Jackson stepped to the plate.
The Cubs’ top prospect ripped a two-out single into left that plated Adduci with the game-winner.
The Cubs offense did not manage a baserunner until the sixth inning, a one-out walk by Koyie Hill. Andrew Cashner then broke up the Indians’ no-hit bid with a single through the hole at short, also in the sixth.
While the offense was struggling at the plate, Cubs’ pitching was busy keeping the Indians off the bases.
Randy Wells put together an excellent start. Wells threw strikes and allowed only two baserunners in his four innings of work. Wells continued to make his case for one of the two available spots in the Cubs’ rotation.
Kerry Wood took over in the fifth and gave up a leadoff single before striking out the side.
The Indians only run came against Andrew Cashner … a solo home run by Jayson Nix in the sixth. After the Nix blast, Cashner settled down and made his case for a spot in the Cubs’ rotation.
Wells, Wood and Cashner had an excellent afternoon and the offense did just enough on Ron Santo Day at HoHoKam Park.
The Cubs placed a plaque in Santo’s honor near his seat in the broadcast booth where he helped call Cubs’ Spring Training Baseball.
When the game started, the lack of offense quickly became a concern. The Indians (Justin Masterson and Jeanmar Gomez retired the first 16 Cubs they faced, eight on strikeouts.
Koyie Hill was the Cubs’ first baserunner Thursday afternoon … a one-out walk in the sixth. Hill did not stay on the bases long. Andrew Cashner squared to bunt, pulled the bat back and attempted to hit a ball through the right side of the infield. Hill was running on the play and after Cashner swung and missed, Hill was thrown out at second.
Cashner kept the inning alive with a single to left … the Cubs first hit of the game. Kosuke Fukudome fouled out to third to end the inning.
It appeared that Jayson Nix’s homer in the sixth would hold up with the way the Cubs were not making contact.
Marquez Smith hit a double down the left field line with one out in the eighth. With Matt Camp at the plate, Frank Herrmann uncorked a wild pitch on a 2-2 offering. Smith broke from third and tied the game at one when Chun-Hsiu Chen’s throw ended up in left field.
Andrew Cashner retired the Indians in order in the top of the ninth and set it up for the walk-off in the ninth.
Randy Wells took positive steps forward once again Thursday afternoon. Wells kept the Indians off balance in his four innings of work. Wells retired the side in the first on 16 pitches, 10 for strikes. It took Wells 22 pitches, 13 for strikes, to get through the second. Wells walked Travis Buck with two outs, the first baserunner in the game.
Wells surrendered his first hit in the third but faced only four batters. Wells threw 15 pitches in the third, 11 for strikes.
After a 10-pitch fourth (five for strikes), Wells departed after throwing a total of 63 pitches, 39 for strikes.
Kerry Wood continued his solid spring Thursday. Wood gave up a hit but struck out the side on 15 pitches, 11 for strikes.
The Cubs ended their two-game spring losing streak … it is time for the offense to start making consistent contact and finding green.
The Cubs face the White Sox for the first time in 2011 on Friday afternoon. Ryan Dempster against Mark Buehrle …