Cubs Come Up Short in Scottsdale – Cubs 7, Giants 9

Spring Training Game Eight – Cubs 7, Giants 9

WP – Jake Dunning (1-0) LP – Barret Loux (0-1, BS 1) Save – None

The Cubs dropped their second straight spring game on Saturday afternoon in Scottsdale. The Cubs took a 3-1 lead into the fourth, but once again the young pitchers on the spring roster could not hold a lead.

Carlos Villanueva completed three innings of work in his second spring start. Villanueva made only one mistake, a long home run off the bat of Pablo Sandoval in the third inning. Villanueva allowed one run on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts on the afternoon.

The Cubs offense kept trying to make a game of it, but every time the Cubs were able to chip away at the Angels lead, the pitching staff gave up runs the next inning.

Barret Loux really struggled in his second outing of the spring. Loux gave up four runs on three hits and a walk in two innings. Loux struck out a batter but hit two. Jaye Chapman did not help his case on Saturday. Chapman gave up two runs on a two-out, two-run homer off the bat of Adam Duvall. Robert Whitenack had command issues again, but did not allow any hits or runs in his inning of work. Brian Schlitter was up from minor league camp and surrendered two runs on three hits in the eighth.

Cubs’ pitching allowed nine run on 12 hits, walked three batters, hit two more, uncorked two wild pitches and struck out five Saturday afternoon in Scottsdale.

The Cubs offense pounded out 10 hits on Saturday afternoon with four walks … and three of the free passes scored in the fourth inning. The Cubs showed a lot of patience against Jeremy Affeldt. Affeldt walked the bases loaded before he departed after recording only two outs.

Dioner Navarro (1-for-3 with two RBI) drove in the Cubs’ first two runs of the game, and Steve Clevenger (2-for-3 with two RBI) capped the three-run inning with a two-out single. Brian Bogusevic (2-for-2 with a triple, two runs scored and a walk) had his best day of the spring while Brett Jackson (1-for-1 with a double, a stolen base and a RBI) doubled, stole a base and scored in the eighth inning. Jackson also drove in the Cubs’ final run of the day with a sac fly in the ninth.

The younger pitchers on the Cubs’ roster must figure out how to throw more strikes. The lack of command and ability to throw a ball in the strike zone is a little concerning. The organization has had the same issue for several years now …

Carlos Villanueva worked around a one-out double by Kensuke Tanaka in the first inning. Villanueva struck out Gregor Blanco swinging to start his day before giving up the double to left on a 2-1 pitch. Pablo Sandoval grounded out to second, Tanaka advanced to third but was stranded when Buster Posey popped out to center.

Other than a one-out walk to Cole Gillespie, Carlos Villanueva was sharp in the second inning.

The Cubs offense managed just one hit and no walks in three innings against Yusmeiro Petit.

The Giants got on the board in the third inning. After Gregor Blanco flied out to deep center and Tanaka grounded out to first for the first two out, Pablo Sandoval hit a long homer over the wall in right … 1-0 Giants. Villanueva fell behind Buster Posey 2-0 before the Giants’ catcher singled to right. Villanueva ended his day by retiring Hunter Pence on a pop out to right.

The Cubs were able to break through in the fourth against Jeremy Affeldt. Affeldt struggled with his command and the Cubs took advantage. After Darwin Barney struck out swinging to start the inning, Nate Schierholtz (3-2 pitch, behind 1-2), Alfonso Soriano (3-2 pitch) and Brian Bogusevic walked to load the bases with one out.

Dioner Navarro drove a 0-1 pitch into right center that plated Schierholtz and Soriano … 2-1 Cubs. Steve Clevenger singled to right, plated Bogusevic with the Cubs’ third run and chased Affeldt from the game. Jake Dunning took over and made quick work of Edwin Maysonet (struck out swinging) and Christian Villanueva (flied out to center) to end the inning.

Barret Loux made his second appearance of the spring, and really struggled with his command. Loux pitched behind in the count … and the Giants rounded the bases. Loux retired Gillespie before giving up a single to Brett Pill. With Brandon Crawford at the dish, Loux uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Pill to advance to second. Johnny Monell hit a soft single into center that plated Pill, 3-2 Cubs. Gregor Blanco then ripped a 1-1 pitch into center that sliced towards left away from DeJesus. Blanco ended up at third with a two-run triple, and the Giants took a 4-3 lead. Tanaka broke his bat, grounded out to first, and plated Blanco with the Giants’ fifth run. Sandoval flied out to right to end the inning.

Jake Dunning faced the minimum in the fifth after DeJesus walked to start the inning. Barney hit into a 4-6-3 double play and Schierholtz struck out swinging.

Barret Loux hit two batters in the fifth … but did not allow any runs or hits. Loux struck out Crawford swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs cut into the Giants lead in the sixth. Brian Bogusevic reached on a one-out triple to center off Dan Runzler. Dioner Navarro struck out swinging (1-2 pitch), but Clevenger picked him up. Steve Clevenger drove in his second run of the day with a single to left. Bogusevic scored, 5-4 Giants. Maysonet grounded out to third to end the inning.

Dale Sveum went to his bench in the sixth, and replaced Loux with Jaye Chapman on the mound. Brad Nelson (1B), Logan Watkins (2B), Alberto Gonzalez (SS), Matt Szczur (LF), Dave Sappelt (CF), Johermyn Chavez (RF) and J.C. Boscan (C) entered the game.

Chapman recorded two quick outs before surrendering a single to Tanaka. Adam Duvall followed with a long home run to right … 7-4 Giants, and the second homer hit by a Giants’ third baseman on the afternoon. Chapman retired Quiroz on a flyout to right to end the inning.

Robert Whitenack replaced Chapman in the seventh, and Junior Lake took over for Villanueva at third. Whitenack struggled with his command, but did not allow any runs.

The Cubs chipped away at the Giants 7-4 spring lead in the eighth. Brett Jackson led off the eighth with a double to right off Scott Proctor. After Szczur flied out to center, Jackson swiped third with Johermyn Chavez at the plate. Chavez then drove a 3-2 pitch into right. Jackson tagged and scored, 7-5 Cubs. J.C. Boscan followed with a double to right center, but Brad Nelson flied out to center for the third out.

Brian Schlitter spent the day with the big league team up from minor league camp. The Giants added two runs on three hits against Schlitter in the eighth.

Jean Machi took over for the Giants in the ninth. Junior Lake reached on a one out single and advanced to second on a single by Dave Sappelt. Logan Watkins doubled, Lake scored and Sappelt held at third with one out. Brett Jackson hit a sac fly that plated Sappelt but Matt Szczur struck out looking to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Gameday for Play-by-Play

The Cubs’ first of five split squad days is on Sunday. Half of Dale Sveum’s team will make the short trip to Tempe to face the Angels. Nick Struck is scheduled to face Joe Blanton. The other half of Sveum’s roster will host the Brewers at HoHoKam Park. Edwin Jackson is slated to make his second spring start.

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