The Cubs Offense Does the Talking at Salt River Fields – Cubs 7, Diamondbacks 5

Spring Training Game Seventeen – Cubs 7, Diamondbacks 5

WP – Hector Rondon (1-0) LP – David Holmberg (0-1, BS 1) Save – Blake Parker (1)

wflag-pubThe Cubs posted back-to-back wins for the second time this spring with Monday’s victory over Arizona.

The Cubs battled back against the Diamondbacks’ bullpen and scored six of their seven runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Cubs scored seven runs on 12 hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts. Jeff Samardzija (1-for-2 with a home run) and Welington Castillo (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) both went deep … counting Friday’s rain shortened game, the Cubs have hit home runs in nine straight games. Darwin Barney (1-for-4 with a double, HBP and two RBI) doubled in the go ahead runs in the seventh and Jorge Soler (1-for-3 with a RBI) singled in a run. David DeJesus was 2-for-2 with a double and a run scored while Nate Schierholtz (1-for-2 with a double and a RBI) continued his solid spring.

Jeff Samardzija had a rough outing. Samardzija said he felt good afterwards and understands what adjustments he needs to make. After breezing through the first inning, Samardzija labored a little in the second before giving up three in the third and another run in the fourth. Samardzija served up two home runs, which accounted for three of the four runs he allowed over 4 2/3 innings on Monday afternoon. Samardzija issued a pair of walks, including a free pass to Trevor Cahill, and struck out two.

The Cubs’ pen allowed just one run on four hits over the last 4 1/3 innings. Casey Coleman put together another scoreless outing while Hector Rondon was impressive once again. Rondon allowed a hit in his two-thirds of an inning, with a strikeout and no walks. Zach Putnam was charged with his first earned run of the spring. Putnam allowed a run on two hits without a walk or a strikeout in an inning of work. Rafael Dolis allowed one hit in the eighth, but threw strikes, did not walk a batter and kept Arizona off the scoreboard. Blake Parker picked up his first spring save with a scoreless ninth.

Darwin Barney and Javier Baez reportedly turned in multiple gold-glove type plays on Monday afternoon. Barney helped keep Samardzija out of trouble in the second and David DeJesus threw out Paul Goldschmidt at second trying to stretch a single into a double to end the third.

The Cubs did their jobs on Monday afternoon, got their work in and posted a spring win.

The Cubs were not able to cash in on a double to left off the bat of David DeJesus in the first inning. Trevor Cahill hit Darwin Barney but with runners on first and second with no outs, Nate Schierholtz popped out to shallow center, Alfonso Soriano flied out to right center (2-2 pitch) and Luis Valbuena grounded out to first to end the inning.

Jeff Samardzija retired the D-Backs in order in the first inning … Eaton (groundout up the middle to Baez), Hill (tap back to Samardzija on a 3-2 pitch) and Kubel (strikeout).

Trevor Cahill struck out the side in the second inning … Castillo (looking), Baez (looking) and Clevenger (swinging).

Samardzija issued a two-out walk to A.J. Pollock in the second inning, but Darwin Barney reportedly made two excellent defensive plays that helped keep Arizona off the scoreboard.

The Cubs put a run on the board against Trevor Cahill in the third. After Samardzija grounded out to first to start the inning, David DeJesus singled to right center, and moved up to second on a wild pitch with Barney at the plate. Barney grounded out to short, DeJesus held but scored on a double to left center off the bat of Nate Schierholtz. A wild pitch with Soriano at the dish allowed Schierholtz to move up ninety feet. Soriano struck out swinging to end the inning.

Jeff Samardzija retired Cliff Pennington on a grounder to first to start the third, then jumped ahead of Cahill 0-2. Samardzija ended up walking Cahill. Adam Eaton cranked a 3-2 pitch over the wall in right center … and just like that, the Cubs were down 2-1. Aaron Hill just missed a home run and had to settle with a double off the top of the wall in left center. Nick Ahmed ran for Hill and advanced to third when Kubel grounded out to second. Paul Goldschmidt ripped, what turned out to be, a long single into right center that plated Ahmed with the D-Backs’ third run. DeJesus threw out Goldschmidt trying to stretch a single into a double to end the inning.

Samardzija set down the D-Backs in order in the fourth … then made the score 3-2 with one swing of the bat in the fifth. Samardzija pulled a 2-2 pitch from Eury De La Rosa over the wall in left center for his first longball of the spring.

Dale Sveum left Samardzija in to start the fifth. Samardzija retired Pennington (groundout to second) for the first out. Didi Gregorius hit for De La Rosa and drilled a solo homer to right. Adam Eaton flied out to right center and Sveum made the slow walk.

Casey Coleman replaced Samardzija and retired Ahmed on a grounder to short to end the inning.

David Holmberg took over for De La Rosa in the sixth … and the Cubs tied the game.

Luis Valbuena reached on a two-out single to center and was on board for Welington Castillo’s second longball of the spring. Castillo pulled a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left center and tied the game at four.

Hector Rondon took over with one out in the sixth after Coleman retired Marte on a line out to right. Rondon gave up a two out single to Mark Teahen before striking out A.J. Pollock swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs took the lead for good in the seventh. Steve Clevenger led off the inning with a double to right off David Holmberg. Darnell McDonald hit for Rondon and struck out swinging. Sappelt was then plunked on a 0-2 pitch. With runners on first and second with one down, Darwin Barney doubled to left. Clevenger and Sappelt scored, 6-4 Cubs. Jorge Soler followed with a single to center. Barney scored and Soler advanced to second when Brad Snyder missed the cut off man. Brett Jackson walked. Kirk Gibson decided that was enough and went to his pen for Rommie Lewis. Christian Villanueva popped out to shallow right (infield fly rule) and Rafael Lopez grounded out to first to end the inning.

Zach Putnam started the seventh. Darwin Barney reportedly dropped a ball he should have caught off the bat of Evan Frey. Frey was given a hit. Snyder grounded out to first. Frey advanced to second and scored on a single to right center by Chris Owings. Rod Barajas hit for Lewis and flied out to third. Putnam retired Ahmed on a grounder to short to end the inning.

Rafael Dolis pitched a scoreless eighth and Blake Parker worked around his own two-out error in the ninth to close out the spring win.

Tuesday is the first of two off days for the Cubs this spring. Edwin Jackson is scheduled to face Josh Outman and the Rockies at HoHoKam Park on Wednesday afternoon.

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Quote of the Day

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