The Cubs and E-Jax Take Care of the D-Backs – Cubs 3, Diamondbacks 1

Spring Training Game Thirty-Three – Cubs 3, Diamondbacks 1

WP – Edwin Jackson (2-3) LP – Trevor Cahill (1-2) Save – Jose Veras (1)

wflag-pub2014The Cubs played one of their better games of the spring on Friday night at Chase Field. The Cubs manufactured runs, took advantage of an extra out in the fifth and held on to beat the Diamondbacks in their home park.

Edwin Jackson was very good during his four-inning outing. Jackson retired the first 10 batters he faced and surrendered only one hit over four scoreless frames on 47 pitches, 34 for strikes. Jackson found a rhythm early, worked quickly and threw strikes. Jackson struck out two batters while not issuing a free pass. Jackson really looked good in his last outing of the spring.

Hector Rondon pitched the fifth and did his job. Rondon kept Arizona off the scoreboard but missed his spots while giving up two hits and a walk on 18 pitches, 10 for strikes. Rondon induced a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Mark Trumbo that kept him out of trouble.

Zac Rosscup put together his best outing of the spring. Rosscup retired Parra, Hill and Goldschmidt in order on seven pitches, five strikes, in the sixth and worked around a hit and a walk in the seventh. Rosscup tossed two scoreless innings while allowing a hit and a walk with two strikeouts.

Pedro Strop struggled in the eighth after recording two quick outs. Strop could not record the third out before Rick Renteria went to his pen for Armando Rivero. Strop allowed a run on two hits (a double and a triple) with a walk and a strikeout. Rivero escaped a bases loaded jam in the eighth while holding the Cubs’ lead.

Jose Veras pitched the ninth inning for the first time this spring. Veras’ command was better as he struck out two of the five batters he faced. Veras gave up a hit and hit a batter in route to his first ‘save.’

Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored) was in the middle of all the scoring on Friday night. Rizzo drove in Emilio Bonifacio (1-for-4 with a double and a run scored) in the first inning, scored the Cubs second run in the fourth on a single by Ryan Sweeney (2-for-3 with a RBI) and crossed the plate in the fifth after Nate Schierholtz (2-for-3 with a RBI) singled to center.

Mike Olt (1-for-3) recorded a hit in three plate appearances and Darwin Barney (0-for-1 with two walks) worked two more walks with his improved approach at the plate.

The Cubs put three runs on the board on nine hits with five walks (2-for-12 with RISP, 10 left on base) on Friday night.

With Friday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 14-18-1 this spring with one exhibition game left on the schedule.

Emilio Bonifacio led off the game with a double down the left field line on a 0-1 pitch. Junior Lake grounded out to short, but Bonifacio advanced to third and scored when Anthony Rizzo rolled a 1-0 pitch to third … 1-0 Cubs. Trevor Cahill struck out Mike Olt swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

The Cubs added to their lead in the fourth inning. Anthony Rizzo led off the inning with a single to right center. After Olt struck out swinging, Rick Renteria called for a hit and run. Nate Schierholtz delivered a single to center. Rizzo advanced to third on the play. Ryan Sweeney drove a 1-0 pitch to left field. Mark Trumbo misplayed the sinking liner. Rizzo scored and Schierholtz held at second on Sweeney’s single. Cahill caught John Baker looking (2-2 pitch). Darwin Barney worked his second walk of the game. But with the bases loaded and two down, Edwin Jackson was caught looking at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Cubs put another run on the board in the fifth. Junior Lake worked a one out walk but was erased when Rizzo chopped a 1-2 pitch toward first. Goldschmidt fielded the ball, threw to second and Gregorius fired back to first. Cahill was at the bag in time but could not find it and Rizzo took over at first base. Mike Olt bounced Cahill’s first pitch into left. With runners on first and second with two down, Nate Schierholtz singled to center. Rizzo scored, 3-0 Cubs. Olt advanced to third on the play. Ryan Sweeney grounded out to second to end the inning.

The game remained 3-0 Cubs until the eighth inning as the bullpen auditions took place.

Pedro Strop took the hill in the eighth and retired Tony Campana (groundout to third) and Eric Chavez (swinging strikeout) to start the inning. Cliff Pennington tripled to right and scored when Evan Marzilli launched a double over Matt Szczur’s head in center. Strop walked Mike Jacobs and Rick Renteria went to his pen for Armando Rivero with two on, two down and the Cubs up 3-1. Rivero walked Aaron Cunningham to load the bases before he struck out Tuffy Gosewisch swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs wrap-up their spring schedule on Saturday afternoon (3:10pm CDT) at Chase Field … Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Bronson Arroyo.

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax