Sappelt Powers Cubs Past the Padres in Peoria – Cubs 5, Padres 2

Spring Training Game Twenty-Six – Cubs 5, Padres 2

WP – Edwin Jackson (1-2) LP – Clayton Richard (1-1) Save – Hector Rondon (1)

wflag-pubThe Cubs began the final two weeks of Spring Training with an efficient, clean victory over the Padres in Peoria. A Cubs’ travel squad topped the Friars for the second time in the Cactus League behind an excellent outing from Edwin Jackson and a three-run homer by Dave Sappelt.

Dave Sappelt helped his case to be with the Cubs on Opening Day in Pittsburgh with another solid showing against a left handed pitcher. Sappelt managed only one hit in four plate appearances, but that one hit was the difference in the game. Sappelt smacked a three-run homer off Clayton Richard in the fifth inning, his second longball in as many days off a left-hander. Sappelt went 3-for-8 with two home runs, six RBI and a stolen base in back-to-back games against Clayton Richard and A’s lefty, Tommy Milone.

Brent Lillibridge (2-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored) also contributed in the win. Lillibridge was on board for the Sappelt homer in the fifth and scored on a sac fly off the bat of Alberto Gonzalez (1-for-2 with a RBI and a run scored) after he led off the seventh inning with a triple.

Javier Baez (0-for-4 with a RBI) drove in the Cubs’ first run with a fielder’s choice groundout in the fourth, and finished his stint in big league camp with a solid day that included an outstanding defensive play in the third inning … a leaping catching to take a hit away from Alexi Amarista.

Edwin Jackson put together his best start of the spring. Jackson found a rhythm early, threw strikes, and limited the Padres to one run on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts in six innings. Jackson threw 76 pitches, 49 for strikes, and recorded nine groundball outs. The Padres lone run off Jackson came on a two-out single by Clayton Richard after Cody Ransom swiped second on a delayed steal.

Andrew Carpenter pitched a scoreless inning while Zach Putnam labored through the seventh inning. Putnam allowed one run on three hits. Hector Rondon notched his first save of the spring. Rondon retired three of the four batters he faced to close it out.

Cubs’ pitching surrendered two runs on five hits with one walk and six strikeouts.

The Cubs played a mistake free game, and by walking only one batter, the exhibition took only two hours and 14 minutes to play.

Monday’s game was a pitcher’s duel over the first three innings. Clayton Richard retired the Cubs in order in two of the first three innings while Edwin Jackson made quick work of the Padres.

The Cubs got on the board in the fourth inning. Darnell McDonald led off with a single to center. With Jorge Soler at the plate, McDonald stole second then advanced to third when Soler grounded out to first base … Soler’s productive out put a runner on third with less than two outs.

Javier Baez hit a smash toward third that went off Cody Ransom’s glove and right to Everth Cabrera. McDonald scored as Cabrera threw out Baez at first base. Clevenger grounded out to second to end the inning.

Edwin Jackson retired the Padres in order in the fourth.

Brent Lillibridge reached on a one out single in the fifth and advanced to second on a single to right off the bat of Alberto Gonzalez. After Edwin Jackson failed to get a bunt down and popped out to second base, Dave Sappelt stepped to the plate and launched the first pitch he saw over the wall in left … 4-0 Cubs. Richard struck out McDonald swinging to end the inning.

The Padres tried to answer in the home half of the fifth … but had to settle for just one run. Jackson retired Blanks on a grounder to third (3-2 pitch) to start the inning. John Baker walked on five pitches. Cody Ransom hit a chopper to third (1-1 pitch) that backed up Maysonet. Maysonet could only get one and Ransom replaced Baker at first base. Jackson jumped ahead of Richard 0-2. Ransom then swiped second on a delayed steal, and slid in safe without a throw from Steve Clevenger. Richard worked the count back to even before singling to center and plating Ransom with the Padres’ first run. Cabrera grounded out to short to end the inning.

Edwin Jackson finished his afternoon by retiring the Padres in order in the sixth … and striking out Rico Noel to end the inning.

The Padres cut the Cubs lead to 5-2 in the eighth inning against Zach Putnam. Jeudy Valdez reached on a ground rule double with one out. Valdez hit a ball down the left field line that the ball boy thought was foul and picked up. Gregorio Petit followed with a single to left. Valdez scored, 5-2 Cubs. Putnam struck out Kyle Gaedele swinging for the second out. Rico Noel reached on an infield single, Petit advanced to third on the play. Noel then stole second with Luis Tejada at the plate. With runners on second and third with two down, Tejada grounded out to third to end the inning.

Hector Rondon gave up a two-out single to Jonathan Galvez in the ninth … but Rene Rivera flied out to Jorge Soler to end the ballgame.

The Cubs host the Rangers on Tuesday afternoon in the Cactus League … Chris Rusin against Alexi Ogando.

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Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne