Feldman Falters, Cubs Battle Back and Tie the Royals – Cubs 9, Royals 9

Spring Training Game Thirty-Five – Cubs 9, Royals (ss) 9

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The Cubs were down 8-2 going into the eighth inning on Wednesday night in Surprise. The Cubs scored five runs in the eighth and cut Kansas City’s lead to 8-7. The Royals added a run in the ninth but the Cubs scored two more runs in the ninth to send the exhibition game into extra innings. Neither team could push across a run and the game was called after 10 innings. For the first time this spring, the Cubs did not win or lose a game.

The Royals punished Scott Feldman for the first 4 1/3 innings of the game while James Shields did not give up his second hit until the fifth inning.

Scott Feldman put together his worst outing of the spring in his last start in the Cactus League. Feldman lived up in the strike zone, a majority of his offerings were above the belt, and the Royals took advantage of every mistake. Feldman gave up hits to five of the first nine batters he faced. Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez hit back-to-back bombs off Feldman in the third. Feldman served up four home runs over his abbreviated outing.

Scott Feldman apparently forgot his jersey, and wore No. 89 on Wednesday night … and chances are he would like to forget he gave up seven runs on 12 hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. Feldman threw 88 pitches, 56 for strikes.

Michael Bowden gave up a run on two hits with no walks and a strikeout in 1 2/3 innings. Hector Rondon pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Zach Putnam gave up the Royals’ ninth run in the ninth on a pair of hits. Esmailin Caridad and Jeffry Antigua kept the Royals off the board over the last two innings.

Cubs pitching allowed nine runs on 19 hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts.

To the Cubs credit they did not stop on Wednesday night. The Royals had a commanding 8-2 lead going into the top of the eighth. The Cubs scored five runs off Luke Hochevar and cut Kansas City’s lead to one run … then scored two in the ninth to tie the game and send the exhibition into extra innings.

David DeJesus (1-for-4 with a triple and two RBI) extended his spring hitting streak to 14 games with a run scoring triple in the eighth then tied the game with a sac fly in the ninth. Luis Valbuena delivered a pinch-hit RBI double in the eighth. Alfonso Soriano (1-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored) singled in a run and scored on a two-run double by Dioner Navarro (2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two RBI) in the five-run eighth inning.

Darwin Barney (2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) and Brent Lillibridge (0-for-4 with a RBI) drove in the Cubs first two runs off James Shields in the fifth inning.

Nate Schierholtz entered the game in the eighth pinch-hitting for Dave Sappelt. Schierholtz went 2-for-2 with a triple, a RBI, a stolen base and two runs scored.

The Cubs wrapped up the road part of their 2013 Cactus League schedule on Wednesday night, just one more game in Arizona … and at HoHoKam Park.

While James Shields made quick work of the Cubs over the first three innings, the Royals took batting practice against Scott Feldman. Feldman lived up in the zone over the first two innings.

Alex Gordon lined a single to right to start the Royals’ first inning. Chris Getz followed with a triple into the right field corner. Gordon scored … and just like that 1-0 Kansas City. Billy Butler followed with a solid single to center. Getz scored the Royals’ second run. Feldman settled down, somewhat, after the Butler single and struck out Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez swinging. Eric Hosmer grounded out to Barney to end the inning.

The Royals scored two more runs in the second inning. Feldman hung a curve to Lorenzo Cain on a 3-2 pitch and the Royals’ centerfielder deposited it over the wall in left. Jeff Francoeur grounded out to second. Elliot Johnson followed with a single to center on a 1-2 pitch … the fifth hit by the first nine batters. A 0-1 pitch to Alex Gordon got past Navarro, Johnson advanced to second on the wild pitch. Gordon grounded out to Rizzo, Johnson advanced to third then trotted home on a single to right off the bat of Chris Getz. Butler lined out to second for the third out.

The Cubs went down in order quickly in the third.

Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez hit back-to-back homers off Feldman to start the third. Feldman hung another 3-2 pitch and Perez launched the mistake over the wall in centerfield. Eric Hosmer then reached on a bloop double to left. Dave Sappelt tried to make a diving catch near the line, came up short and kicked the ball. Cain chopped a 3-2 pitch to Lillibridge at short. Hosmer advanced to third with one down. Francoeur looked at a 2-2 pitch for the second out. Elliot Johnson struck out swinging to end the inning.

Scott Feldman allowed six runs on nine hits (three home runs, a double and a triple) in the first three frames.

James Shields faced the minimum through four innings.

Alex Gordon launched the fourth home run off Scott Feldman leading off the fourth inning. Feldman gave up a single to Chris Getz but Billy Butler rapped into a 5-4-3 double play and Moustakas grounded out to first to end the inning.

The Cubs finally strung a few hits together in the fifth inning. Scott Hairston worked a one-out walk. Dioner Navarro singled to right on a 1-1 pitch, the Cubs second hit. With Lillibridge at the plate, Shields uncorked a wild pitch. Both runners moved up ninety feet. Lillibridge chopped a 1-0 pitch off the plate to short. Hairston scored, 7-1 Royals. Navarro advanced to third then scored when Barney pulled Shields’ first pitch into left field, Sappelt struck out swinging to end the inning.

Scott Feldman stayed in and started the fifth. Perez lined a single into center to start the inning. Hosmer hit a grounder toward short. Lillibridge was in the shift, went back to his right, fielded the ball and threw to Barney at second. Hosmer beat Barney’s throw and Feldman walked Lorenzo Cain. Sveum decided that was enough.

Dale Sveum went to his pen for Michael Bowden. Bowden retired Francoeur and Johnson to end the inning.

The Royals added on against Michael Bowden in the sixth. Gordon led off with a single to center. Chris Getz added to his big night with a double to right center. Billy Butler stepped in with runners on second and third with no outs. Bowden struck out Butler swinging for the first out. Moustakas pulled a 3-2 pitch to deep right. Gordon tagged and scored the Royals’ eighth run. With Getz at third, Perez grounded out to third (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Hector Rondon gave up a single and walked a batter in the seventh but did not allow any runs. The Cubs went to the eighth trailing 8-2 in the exhibition game.

Luke Hochevar retired Darwin Barney on a grounder to second to start the eighth. Nate Schierholtz hit for Dave Sappelt and singled to right center on a 0-2 pitch. Schierholtz swiped second with DeJesus at the plate. DeJesus extended his spring hitting streak to 14 games with a triple to right center (seventh pitch, 3-2 count), Schierholtz scored the Cubs’ third run.

Luis Valbuena hit for Clevenger and pulled a 0-1 pitch to deep right center. DeJesus scored on Valbuena’s double. Anthony Rizzo walked and Alfonso Soriano stepped to the plate with runners on first and second with one down. Soriano singled to left center (1-2 pitch). Valbuena scored, 8-5 Royals. Scott Hairston just missed tying the game. Hairston hit a deep fly to left that Gordon hauled in just before the wall.

Dioner Navarro worked a 3-1 count before pulling a double into the right field corner. Rizzo and Soriano scored, 8-7 Royals. Ned Yost decided that was enough for Hochevar. Aaron Crow took over on the hill as Dong-Yub Kim replaced Navarro at second base. Lillibridge was caught looking at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Royals tacked on a run in the ninth against Zach Putnam. Chris Getz reached on an infield single and scored on a double into the right field corner off the bat of Mike Moustakas.

Darwin Barney led off the ninth with a double to the left field corner. Nate Schierholtz then pulled a 0-2 pitch to deep right center. Lorenzo Cain ran over and got a glove on the ball, but could not haul it in. Barney scored on Schierholtz’s triple … 9-8 Royals. David DeJesus hit a sinking liner to center. Cain made an excellent diving catch, Schierholtz tagged and scored the tying run. Valbuena popped out to left and Rizzo was called out on a check swing (3-2 pitch). It was a bad call, Rizzo slammed his helmet and was ejected from the game.

Esmailin Caridad pitched in his way in an out of a jam in the ninth … and the game went to the tenth tied at nine.

The Cubs did nothing in the tenth against Sam Runion … and Jeffry Antigua, up for the day from minor league camp, was impressive in the tenth. The young southpaw faced Major League hitters and gave up just one hit while striking out Mike Moustakas swinging to end the game.

The Cubs host the Mariners on Thursday afternoon at HoHoKam Park. Thursday is the Cubs’ final home game at HoHoKam. Carlos Villanueva is scheduled to face Hisashi Iwakuma.

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