Cubs Break Out the Bats … And Beat the Padres – Cubs 9, Padres 3

Spring Training Game Sixteen – Cubs 9, Padres 3

WP – Travis Wood (3-0) LP – Tim Stauffer (0-1) Save – None

wflag-pubThe Cubs snapped their five-game spring losing streak on Sunday afternoon at HoHoKam Park. The offense broke out their bats against the Padres’ pen, while Travis Wood was busy putting zeros up on the board.

After scoring just 22 runs in the previous seven games, the Cubs scored nine runs on 10 hits with a walk and six strikeouts on Sunday afternoon. The Cubs hit three home runs, and counting Friday’s rain-shortened game, the Cubs have hit homers in eight straight spring games.

The Cubs struggled early on against Jason Marquis and managed only one hit over the first three innings. The former Cub faced just one over the minimum. But they were able to get on the board, and take the lead on a pair of two-out hits in the sixth against Tim Stauffer.

Travis Wood (1-for-2 with a run scored) started the rally in the sixth inning with a single to left. Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3 with a double and two RBI) tied the game at two with a two-out double and was along for the ride on a two-run homer off the bat of Dioner Navarro (2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI). The Cubs then broke the game open with a five-run eighth.

Jorge Soler (1-for-1 with a home run) launched his first longball of the spring off Dale Thayer with one out in the eighth. J.C. Boscan singled in Dave Sappelt and Steve Clevenger added a sac fly RBI that plated Logan WatkinsChristian Villanueva (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) collected his third hit of the spring, a two-run homer off Thayer that capped the scoring for the Cubs. All three of Villanueva’s hits in the Cactus League have left the park.

Scott Feldman rebounded nicely from his last outing and put together a solid start. A botched double play ball in the third extended the inning for the Padres, but all in all, Feldman had a good day. Feldman was charged with two runs on four hits with three strikeouts over three innings of work. And while Feldman did hit a batter, he did not issue a free pass.

Travis Wood put together an excellent outing. While the three walks he issued could have been a problem against a better lineup, Wood struck out six over four innings of shutout ball while allowing only one hit. Wood struck out the side in order in the fifth and five of the first seven batters he faced on Sunday afternoon.

Carlos Marmol pitched a rare 1-2-3 eighth inning and Michael Bowden surrendered a run on a pair of hits in the ninth.

The Cubs played a better game on Sunday and put one in the spring win column for the first time in a week.

Scott Feldman made quick work of the Friars in the opening inning. Feldman retired the side in order in the first, but struggled in the second inning.

Feldman induced a grounder to short off the bat of Yonder Alonso to start the inning. Jedd Gyorko singled to center (2-2 pitch) just out of the reach of Alberto Gonzalez. Cody Ransom flied out to right. John Baker then blooped a double down the left field line. Gyorko stopped at second with two down. Feldman struck out Gregorio Petit swinging (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.

The Padres took advantage of a big error, a hit batsman and a leadoff single by Jason Marquis to break the scoreless tie in the third. Marquis led off the inning with a single to center (3-2 pitch). Jaff Decker then hit a tailor made double play ball to short. Alberto Gonzalez made two excellent plays in the first two innings, but booted the double play ball. With runners on first and second with no outs, Travis Buck bunted through Feldman’s first pitch. Marquis wondered too far off second. Navarro threw behind him and Marquis was eventually tagged out. Feldman then plunked Buck on a 0-2 pitch.

Mark Kotsay pulled a double into right. Both Decker and Buck scored, 2-0 Padres. Feldman struck out Alonso and retired Gyorko on a grounder to third to end the inning.

Jason Marquis retired the Cubs in order in the third.

Travis Wood replaced Feldman in the fourth and worked around a leadoff walk to Cody Ransom without allowing the Padres to tack on.

Tim Stauffer replaced Marquis in the fifth after Marquis surrendered just two hits over four scoreless inning. Stauffer retired the Cubs in order in the fifth.

Travis Wood was excellent again in the sixth. Wood worked around a one-out single to Gyorko and struck out his sixth batter of the day (Ransom) to end the inning.

The Cubs finally put runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Travis Wood led off the inning with a single to left (3-1 pitch). David DeJesus followed with a single to right (2-2 pitch) off Stauffer. Darwin Barney’s struggles continued. Barney popped a 2-0 pitch to short for the first out. Nate Schierholtz grounded out to first. Wood and DeJesus moved up ninety feet.

Alfonso Soriano stepped in and pulled a 2-2 pitch into left. Soriano ended up a second with a two-run double as Wood and DeJesus scored to tie the game at two. Dioner Navarro followed and pulled a 1-2 pitch over the wall in right and into the Cubs’ pen … and just like that, the Cubs had a 4-2 lead. Clevenger flied out to left for the third out.

Travis Wood struggled with his command in the seventh inning. Wood walked a pair of batters but did not give up a hit. Wood labored, but did his job and kept the Padres off the board.

The Cubs did nothing against Andrew Cashner in the seventh. Cashner made quick work of the Cubs in his first outing of the spring.

Carlos Marmol set down the side in order in the eighth.

The Cubs blew the Cactus League open in the eighth. After lefty Tommy Layne caught Brett Jackson looking to start the inning, Bud Black went to his pen for Dale Thayer.

Jorge Soler launched his first homer of the spring off Thayer. The ball reportedly ended up at the top of the berm in left, which is a very big fly, even in the Cactus League. Dave Sappelt followed with a single to left then swiped second with Logan Watkins at the plate. Watkins walked, the Cubs’ first free pass of the game. J.C. Boscan ripped a single into right. Sappelt scored, 6-2 Cubs. Watkins advanced to third with one down. Clevenger hit a fly to left that was deep enough to plate Watkins with the Cubs’ seventh run. Christian Villanueva then delivered his third hit and third home run of the spring, a two-run shot over the wall in left. Maysonet struck out looking to end the inning.

Michael Bowden gave up a bloop double in the ninth that led to the final run of the game.

The Cubs make the trip to Scottsdale on Monday to take on the Diamondbacks. Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Trevor Cahill at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

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