Spring Game Thirty-Three – Cubs 8, Angels 1
WP – Chris Rusin (1-0) LP – Jered Weaver (2-2) Save – None
After managing six runs over their last two games, the Cubs offense woke up Sunday afternoon in Tempe. Dale Sveum’s team scored all eight runs off Jered Weaver and Jason Isringhausen. On the afternoon the Cubs pounded out 13 hits and hit for the cycle in the eighth.
David DeJesus (2-for-3 with a run scored), Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a triple, a RBI and a run scored) and Starlin Castro (2-for-2 with a sac fly and a RBI) broke through against Jered Weaver in the sixth and the Cubs scored five runs in 2/3 of an inning off Jason Isringhausen in the eighth. The big hit in the eighth came off the bat of Jeff Baker, a three-run shot off the batter’s eye in center field. Geovany Soto had a good day at the plate as well. Soto finished the afternoon 1-for-2 with a double, a RBI, a run scored and two walks.
Ronald Torreyes (1-for-2 with a RBI), up for the day from minor league camp, contributed a RBI single in the five-run eighth off Jason Isringhausen.
Chris Rusin made the start on Sunday and put together an excellent outing against an Angels lineup with Albert Pujols and a majority of the starting position players. Rusin tossed 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball, did not walk a batter, surrendered just two hits and struck out three. Rusin even worked around three Cubs’ errors, two on back-to-back plays to start the third.
Shawn Camp had his best outing since signing with the Cubs. Camp allowed one hit and struck out three in 1 2/3 innings of shutout ball against the Angels’ ‘B’ team lineup.
The Angels’ lone run came in the eighth off Frank Batista. Maicer Izturis hit a solo shot over the wall in right.
With Sunday’s spring win, the Cubs improved to 11-5-1 on the road in the Cactus League (4-11-1 at HoHoKam Park) … David DeJesus started the game with a single to right off Jered Weaver. Barney followed with a lineout to short (0-2 pitch). Starlin Castro notched the Cubs second hit of the inning on a 1-0 pitch from Weaver. Castro blooped a single in front of the Angels’ left fielder, Bobby Abreu.
With two on and one out, Alfonso Soriano flied out to left center … and Blake DeWitt popped out to shallow left to end the inning.
Chris Rusin was sharp in the first inning Sunday afternoon. Rusin kept the ball down, which is the key to his success. Bobby Abreu reached on a fielding error by Ian Stewart and Alberto Callaspo followed with a one-out single to center. Rusin struck out Mark Trumbo swinging on three pitches and Kendrys Morales lined out to a leaping Darwin Barney for the third out.
Jered Weaver struck out Ian Stewart (looking) and Marlon Byrd (swinging) to begin the second … and Weaver made both hitters look bad in the process. Geovany Soto worked a walk but despite putting together a good at bat, Steve Clevenger flied out to left center (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.
Chris Rusin retired the Angels’ ‘B‘ team in order in the second.
After David DeJesus and Darwin Barney flied out to left center to start the third, Starlin Castro reached on a bloop single to center. After Weaver threw over a couple of times, Castro took off for second on the first pitch to Alfonso Soriano. Castro beat the throw but was called out. Castro showed his displeasure but it was the right call. Castro’s left leg was too high on the slide and he did not touch the bag before he was tagged out.
The Cubs’ defense, or lack thereof, was on display in the bottom of the third. Chris Rusin did a good job of pitching around the miscues with help from Darwin Barney and David DeJesus.
Ryan Langerhans reached on a fielding error by Blake DeWitt. Dale Sveum has used him at first base for the injured Bryan LaHair for the last two games. Blake DeWitt can barely field his position when he is playing second or third base … first base is not a viable option for DeWitt under any circumstances.
Maicer Izturis hit a routine grounder to short that should have been a double play. Castro fielded the ball but lost the handle on the exchange and the back-to-back errors put runners on first and second with no outs.
Bobby Abreu hit a sinking liner toward second. Barney made a diving catch and threw to Castro to double off Langerhans. Callaspo followed with a single to right. With runners on first and third with two down, David DeJesus made a nice running catch toward the line to take away a hit from Mark Trumbo … and to end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing in the fourth.
Chris Rusin retired the Angels in order in the bottom of the fourth.
Jered Weaver sat down the Cubs in order 1-2-3 in the fifth.
The Angels did nothing against Chris Rusin in the bottom of the fifth.
The Cubs finally got to Jered Weaver the third time through the lineup. David DeJesus started the three-run rally with a bunt single. DeJesus dragged the bunt up the first base line. Weaver fielded and tried to shovel the ball to Cantu but DeJesus beat it out. Darwin Barney launched a 0-1 pitch over Ryan Langerhans in center. DeJesus scored on the triple.
Starlin Castro hit the first pitch into left. Barney tagged and scored … 2-0 Cubs on a bunt single, a triple and a sac fly.
Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging but Blake DeWitt reached on a bloop single to left. DeWitt broke for second on a 0-1 pitch to Stewart. DeWitt made it safely but had to go back to first. Stewart was called for interference. Stewart singled to center on the next pitch. With runners on first and second with two out, Marlon Byrd ripped a double (first pitch) into the left field corner. DeWitt scored and Stewart held at third. Soto walked to load the bases. Steve Clevenger hit the first pitch to second base to end the inning.
Dale Sveum made a host of changes prior to the bottom of the sixth … but Chris Rusin and Steve Clevenger remained the battery. Tony Campana (LF), Reed Johnson (CF), Joe Mather (RF), Jeff Baker (1B), Alfredo Amezaga (SS), Ronald Torreyes (2B) and Blake DeWitt moved to third.
Chris Rusin retired Bobby Abreu on a fly out to left … and Dale Sveum went to the pen. Rusin finished his afternoon by retiring the last eight batters he faced.
Shawn Camp took over and retired Callaspo on one pitch, a grounder to first. Mark Trumbo hit a high chopper to DeWitt at third on a 3-1 pitch. Trumbo beat DeWitt’s throw. Camp ended the inning by striking out Kendrys Morales swinging.
The Cubs did nothing against Scott Downs in the seventh.
Shawn Camp retired the Angels in order in the seventh.
The Cubs put the exhibition game away in the eighth and pounded Jason Isringhausen. The veteran right-hander gave up five runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 2/3 of an inning … the Cubs hit for the cycle.
Tony Campana led off the eighth with a single to right … and promptly stole second. The Angels pitched out and still could not throw out Campana. Isringhausen uncorked a wild pitch, Campana took third and held when DeWitt walked.
Jeff Baker crushed Isringhausen’s first pitch off the batter’s eye beyond the wall in center … and just like that, the Cubs took a 6-0 lead on Baker’s three-run shot.
Reed Johnson followed Baker’s blast with a triple off the wall in in right center and trotted home when Soto ripped a 2-1 pitch in left center … 7-0 Cubs. After Clevenger and Mather struck out, Ronald Torreyes singled to right center on a 1-0 pitch. Soto scored, 8-0 Cubs and ended Jason Isringhausen’s day.
Dakota Robinson took over and threw one pitch. Alfredo Amezaga grounded out to short to end the eighth.
Frank Batista, up from minor league camp for the day, took over on the hill in the eighth. Batista struck out two batters and gave up a solo home run to Maicer Izturis (right field).
At the end of eight, the Cubs led 8-1.
Other than a two-out walk by Jeff Baker, the Cubs did nothing against Daniel Tillman in the ninth.
Alberto Cabrera pitched the ninth and retired the Angels in order to end the exhibition game.
The Cubs will make another short trip on Monday afternoon to Scottsdale. The Cubs will take on the Diamondbacks with Jay Jackson making the start for Dale Sveum.
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