Spring Training Game Fifteen – Cubs 2, Indians 9
WP – Zach McAllister (1-1) LP – Brooks Raley (0-1, BS 1) Save – None
The Cubs dropped their fifth straight Cactus League game on Saturday afternoon. After starting the spring with wins in three of their first four games, the Cubs have dropped eight of the last nine exhibition games.
Once again the Cubs got off to a good start. Javier Baez (2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) gave the Cubs an early lead with his second longball of the spring, a two-run shot just to the left of straight away center field. David DeJesus (2-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored) had another good game and was on base for Baez’s dinger.
The Cubs offense went silent when Zach McAllister entered the game and could not plate another run.
Chris Rusin had a very good outing. Rusin tossed three innings of shutout ball and faced just one over the minimum during his outing. Rusin did not walk a batter and struck out one in his first start of the spring. Rusin left the game with the Cubs up 2-0.
Brooks Raley struggled mightily again on Saturday afternoon. Raley could not throw strikes and barely made it through his short outing. Raley allowed three runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout over 1 1/3 innings. Alberto Cabrera followed Rusin and picked up where the southpaw left off. Cabrera gave up five runs on three hits with three walks and no strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings.
James Russell surrendered his first run of the spring in the seventh while struggling a little with his command. Shawn Camp walked a batter in the eighth but did not allow any runs or hits.
Kyuji Fujikawa was impressive once again. Fujikawa pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and struck out two of the three batters he faced.
There were highlights on the pitching side for the Cubs on Saturday (Rusin, Camp and Fujikawa) but for the second time this spring, the Indians feasted on the Cubs’ young pitchers. The Cubs allowed nine runs on 12 hits with six walks and five strikeouts. The Indians hit two home runs and four of the six free passes issued by Cubs’ pitching scored on Saturday afternoon.
The Cubs defense had a rough day as well. Javier Baez was charged with an error when he dropped a throw from Welington Castillo … and both Castillo and Steve Clevenger were charged with passed balls that led to runs for the Indians.
The Cubs came out swinging in the first inning after Chris Rusin retired the Indians in order quickly in the first. David DeJesus doubled down the right field line then trotted home on a long homer off the bat of Javier Baez. Baez drilled his second homer of spring just to the left of straight away center. Baez’s 400-foot blast gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. David Huff retired Castillo (grounder to short), Schierholtz (swinging strikeout on 2-2 pitch) and Hairston (grounder to third) to end the inning.
Chris Rusin faced the minimum in the second. Rusin struck out Swisher (3-2 pitch) for the first out, then retired Chisenhall on a fly out to left. Lou Marson singled to center (3-2 pitch) but was picked off first with Ezequiel Carrera at the plate to end the inning (1-6-3).
Johermyn Chavez reached on a one-out double in the second, advanced to third on a ground out by Brad Nelson but Logan Watkins was caught looking at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
Chris Rusin gave up a pair of hits in the third but was able to induce a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Juan Diaz. Rusin was more than serviceable once again on Saturday afternoon.
Brooks Raley took over in the fourth and gave up a homer to Jason Kipnis to start his outing. Raley retired Giambi, Swisher and Chisenhall in order to close out the fourth.
Other than a two-out single off the bat of Luis Valbuena, the Cubs did nothing against Zach McAllister in the fourth.
The Cubs 2-1 lead quickly evaporated in the fifth inning. Raley issued a four-pitch walk to Lou Marson. A passed ball by Castillo with one down and Diaz at the plate allowed Marson to advance to second base. Diaz singled to center (2-2 pitch). Marson scored and tied the game at two. Hunter followed with a single to left. With runners on first and second with one out, Michael Bourn singled to center, Diaz scored and the Indians took a 3-2 lead.
At that point Dale Sveum decided he had seen enough of Brooks Raley and went to his pen for Alberto Cabrera. Jason Kipnis rolled into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Cubs could not cash in a two-out double by David DeJesus in the fifth and the Indians blew the exhibition game open in the sixth.
Alberto Cabrera issued a leadoff walk to Jason Giambi. Ben Francisco ran for him at first and advanced to third on a single to right center off the bat of Nick Swisher. Mike McDade ran for Swisher. Johermyn Chavez made a sliding catch toward the line in left to take away a hit from Lonnie Chisenhall. Francisxo scored, 4-2 Cleveland. Terry Francona called for a hit and run with Marson at the plate. Marson swung and missed and Castillo threw out McDade at second base.
Cabrera ended up walking Marson then gave up a single to Carrera. With runners on first and third with two down, Carerra took off for second. Castillo threw to second from his knees but the ball got away from Javier Baez. Marson scored on Baez’s error … 5-2 Indians. Carrera advanced to third and held when Cabrera walked Diaz. With two on and two down, Cabrera served up a three-run shot to Cedric Hunter … and just like that, the Indians took an 8-2 lead.
Dale Sveum made the slow walk and brought in James Russell … Russell struck out Tim Fedroff to end the inning.
The Indians tacked on in the seventh against James Russell. Ben Francisco reached on a one-out double to left. Mike McDade singled to center. Francisco advanced to third with no outs. With Ryan Rohlinger at the plate, Steve Clevenger could not handle a 2-0 pitch from Russell. The Cubs’ second passed ball of the day allowed Francisco scored, 9-2 Indians. Russell walked Rohlinger but retired Santos (ground out to first) and Matt Carson (fly out to right) to end the inning.
Zach McAllister shut the Cubs down again in the seventh … four shutout innings for McAllister on Saturday afternoon.
Shawn Camp walked a batter in the eighth, but that was all, and Kyuji Fujikawa pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Scott Feldman is scheduled to face Jason Marquis and the Padres on Sunday afternoon at HoHoKam Park. With the time change, the first pitch of Sunday’s game will be at 3:05pm CST.