Spring Training Game Twenty-Nine – Cubs 6 Mariners (ss) 3
WP – Sean Marshall (1-2) LP – Cesar Jimenez (2-1, BS 2) Save – Marcos Mateo (1)
Starlin Castro ran his spring RBI total to 15 with a bases clearing double in the seventh. Reed Johnson added a RBI double as a part of the Cubs’ four run seventh inning. Three of the Cubs four doubles came in the seventh, with a two-sacker by Josh Vitters setting the stage for Starlin Castro. Aramis Ramirez was given a double in the fourth and scored on a ground out by Carlos Pena.
The Cubs offense managed eight hits, five for extra bases including Blake DeWitt’s first home run of the spring.
Randy Wells labored through a 26-pitch first inning. On the day Wells was named the Cubs’ fourth starter, Wells struggled in the first and put his team in a 2-0 hole before the offense was able to step to the plate. Wells settled down and put together another solid spring outing. Wells allowed three runs on five hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. Wells’ threw 91 pitches in 5 2/3 innings, 56 for strikes, in his final Cactus League game.
Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall, John Grabow and Marcos Mateo finished the game by tossing 3 1/3 scoreless frames. The Mariners managed only one baserunner while Q’s pen struck out four. Cubs’ pitching recorded 12 strikeouts Friday afternoon at HoHoKam Park.
Marcos Mateo, who is still battling for a spot on the Opening Day roster, retired all three batters he faced in the ninth. Mateo struck out two and earned his first save of the spring … only the Cubs’ fourth save in the Cactus League.
Jeff Baker was lifted in the fourth for precautionary reasons after feeling tightness in his left hamstring.
The Cubs defense played error free ball for the fourth game in a row … and Q’s crew actually manufactured a run in the fourth inning. Randy Wells’ day began on a negative note. Wells jumped ahead of Jack Wilson 0-2 before eventually walking him. With Brendan Ryan at the plate, Wells uncorked a wild pitch. Wilson advanced to second on the play. Ryan grounded out to third, Wilson took third and scored on a single to center by Jack Cust.
Justin Smoak gave the Mariners a 2-0 lead with a double to left center.
Randy Wells struck out Ryan Langerhans and Luis Rodriguez to end the inning. Wells threw 26 pitches in the first, 16 for strikes.
Randy Wells faced the minimum in the second after Wells struck out Mike Wilson and Geovany Soto threw out Chris Gimenez attempting to steal second. Wells then sat down the Mariners in order in the third.
Justin Smoak launched his second double of the game to start the fourth. Wells struck out Langerhans but Luis Rodriguez grounded out to second and advanced Smoak to third. Adam Moore then delivered a two-out single to left, Smoak scored … 3-0 Mariners.
After four, Wells had thrown 58 pitches, 38 for strikes.
The Cubs finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth.
Aramis Ramirez reached on a double off Jack Wilson’s face to start the inning. Geovany Soto grounded out to second. Ramirez took third and scored on a groundout to first by Carlos Pena … 3-1 Mariners on a manufactured run by the Chicago Cubs.
Wells kept the Mariners off the board in the fifth. He gave up a single to Brendan Ryan but struck out a pair.
The Cubs cut the Mariners lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth. Blake DeWitt, who came in for the injured Jeff Baker, hit his first homer of the spring … a solo shot to right.
Wells took the hill to start the sixth and struck out Smoak and Langerhans before walking Luis Rodriguez to end his afternoon. Jeff Samardzija came in and retired Adam Moore on a pop out to Starlin Castro.
Tyler Colvin started the Cubs rally in the seventh with a one-out walk against the lefty Cesar Jimenez. Colvin put together a solid at bat after starting in a 0-2 hole.
Josh Vitters hit for Sean Marshall and ripped the first pitch he saw down the left field line. Colvin held at third on Vitters’ double. Blake DeWitt loaded the bases with a swinging bunt.
Starlin Castro stepped to the plate and quickly fell behind 0-2. Castro then ripped the next pitch he saw into left center. Castro’s bases clearing double gave the Cubs a 5-3 advantage.
Jimenez hit Marlon Byrd before picking off Castro from second. Castro got caught in a rundown and Byrd took second on the play. Reed Johnson then delivered a double into left center … Byrd scored, 6-3 Cubs.
The Cubs won for the 13th time in the Cactus League … and have shown improvement in recent days.
Andrew Cashner will take the hill Saturday afternoon in Surprise against the Rangers. Cashner was told Friday he would break camp with the big league team but his role as yet to be determined. A good start would force the Cubs to put Cashner in the rotation to start the season.