Cubs Hang On for the Win in a Seesaw Spring Game – Cubs 10, Brewers 8

Spring Training Game Eleven – Cubs 10, Brewers 8

WP – Frank Batista (1-0, BS 1) LP – David Goforth (0-1) Save – Justin Grimm (1)

wflag-pub2014A new Cactus League record crowd of 14,770 at Cubs Park saw the Cubs give up five runs in the seventh inning then score four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning and hold on to beat the Brewers on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday’s Cactus League game took three hours and 32 minutes to complete with the two teams scoring a combined 18 runs on 20 hits with 10 walks and three errors … and nine of the 18 runs scored in a marathon that was the seventh inning.

Brett Jackson (1-for-1 with two RBI) delivered the game winning hit, a two-run single off of lefty Brad Mills in the seventh inning.

Kyle Hendricks was solid in his second Cactus League outing. Hendricks allowed two runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in three innings. One of the strikeouts was Ryan Braun swinging to end the first inning. Hendricks put together the Cubs only 1-2-3 inning of the afternoon, in the first inning.

Pedro Strop, Jose Veras and Hector Rondon kept the Brewers off the board in the middle innings. Armando Rivero struggled and recorded only one out before turning the game over to minor leaguer Frank Batista in the seventh. The Brewers scored five of their eight runs off of the Rivero-Batista combination. Both Zac Rosscup and Justin Grimm pitched better than their final lines. The Cubs and Brewers were having trouble seeing the ball in the eighth and ninth innings.

Justin Ruggiano (3-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored) hit his second longball of the spring that gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a triple and a run scored) tripled in a run in the sixth and scored on Ruggiano’s third hit of the game.

Javier Baez (1-for-3 with a double and a run scored) doubled in the fourth and scored on a single by Junior Lake (1-for-2 with a sac fly and two RBI). And Matt Szczur (1-for-3 with a run scored) was on board for Ruggiano’s home run.

The Cubs offense scored 10 runs on nine hits with four walks while striking out seven times and taking advantage of two Pete Orr errors in the seventh inning.

Ryan Sweeney left Sunday’s game in the second inning with right knee soreness. Sweeney tracked down a ball hit by Jeff Bianchi into the right field corner. Sweeney called for the trainer while Chris Bosio was talking things over with Kyle Hendricks on the mound. Sweeney took himself out and will be reevaluated Monday. Sweeney is listed as day-to-day.

With Sunday’s spring win, the Cubs improved to 5-6 in Cactus League play.

Scoring Plays

The Cubs jumped out to an early lead in the first inning. Matt Szczur led off the first with a single to left. After Valbuena and Rizzo flied out to deep right center and deep centerfield, Justin Ruggiano crushed a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left. With Szczur along for the ride, the Cubs took a 2-0 lead. Ryan Sweeney lined out to Weeks at second to end the inning. Even the Cubs’ outs were loud in the first inning against Tyler Thornburg.

Kyle Hendricks retired Khris Davis on a grounder to Baez for the first out of the second inning. Hendricks string of retiring the first four batters he faced came to an end when he issued back-to-back walks to Juan Francisco and Lyle Overbay. Former Cub for a minute, Jeff Bianchi, ripped a double into right. Francisco scored, 2-1 Cubs. Overbay stopped at third with one out. With the infield back, Martin Maldonado hit a fly into right center. Overbay tagged and scored, game tied at two. With Bianchi on third, Hendricks struck out Taylor Green swinging to end the inning.

The game remained tied at two until the fifth inning.

Javier Baez led off the fifth with a double to center. Baez crushed the 0-1 pitch from Zach Duke over Logan Schafer’s head in center. The ball one-hopped the wall and Baez ended up at second. Junior Lake singled to right on a 2-2 pitch, Baez scored, 3-2 Cubs. George Kottaras struck out swinging. Darwin Barney tapped out to short, Lake advanced to second and was stranded when Szczur flied out to center.

The Cubs tacked onto their lead in the sixth against Hiram Burgos. Luis Valbuena put together a long at bat that ended with a walk. After just missing a home run to right, Anthony Rizzo tripled to right center. Valbuena scored, 4-2 Cubs. With the infield in, Justin Ruggiano lined a single into left off a leaping Jeff Bianchi’s glove. Cubs took a 5-2 lead on Ruggiano’s third hit of the game. Aaron Cunningham doubled and Baez stepped in with runners on second and third with no outs. Javier Baez struck out swinging (2-2 pitch). Hiram Burgos threw Baez a curveball on a 2-0 pitch in the at bat. Junior Lake picked up Baez with a sac fly to deep left that plated Ruggiano with the Cubs’ sixth run. Ron Roenicke went to his pen and replaced Burgos with Michael Olmstead. George Kottaras struck out swinging to end the inning.

Armando Rivero took the hill in the seventh with a 6-2 lead that quickly evaporated. Martin Maldonado led off the inning with a double to right center. Taylor Green walked. Elian Herrera grounded into a 5-4 force. With runners on first and third with one out, Logan Schafer singled to right off of Ryan Roberts’ glove (Roberts replaced Rizzo at first base). Pinch-runner Nick Shaw scored, 6-3 Cubs. Rivero fell behind Caleb Gindl with runners on first and second with one out. Gindl hit a grounder down the third base line that Kris Bryant tried to backhand. Bryant did not field the ball, it rolled under his glove and Herrera scored, 6-4 Cubs. With runners on the corners and one down, Rick Renteria went to his pen for Frank Batista, who was up for the day from minor league camp. A wild pitch allowed Gindl to move to second. Pete Orr then blooped a double into right. Schafer and Gindl scored and tied the game at six. Nick Ramirez singled to center. Orr scored, 7-6 Brewers. Ramirez advanced to second on the throw to the plate. Kentrail Davis flied out to left and Jeff Bianchi struck out swinging to finally end the inning.

David Goforth and the Brewers went to the bottom of the seventh with Milwaukee up 7-6. Darwin Barney led off the inning with a walk. Arismendy Alcantara ran for Barney and advanced to second when Szczur bunted back to the mound. Kris Bryant fell behind 0-2 before eventually working a walk. Ryan Roberts walked and loaded the bases with one out. At that point, Roenicke went to his pen for lefty Brad Mills to face Brett Jackson. Jackson ripped a single into center. Alcantara and Bryant scored and the Cubs took an 8-7 lead. Aaron Cunningham hit a grounder toward third that Pete Orr booted. Roberts scored, 9-7 Cubs. Chris Valaika grounded a 3-2 pitch toward third that Orr also missed and the Cubs loaded the bases with one down. Casper Wells made it 10-7 Cubs with a sac fly to center that plated Brett Jackson. John Baker struck out swinging to end the inning … the Cubs scored four runs on one hit in the seventh inning.

The Brewers made it 10-8 in the eighth against Zac Rosscup with a lot of help from the sun and Casper Wells. Taylor Green reached on a one-out double to center. Rosscup retired Herrera and he thought he retired Matt Pagnozzi. But Casper Wells could not see the routine fly to right. Green scored, 10-8 Cubs. The inning ended when Chris Coghlan caught a fly to left off the bat of Caleb Gindl.

Pitching

Kyle Hendricks put together a good outing Sunday. After retiring the Brewers in order in the first inning with two strikeouts, including Ryan Braun, Hendricks gave up back-to-back walks with one out in the second that led to the Brewers two runs. Hendricks surrendered a double to Braun in the third but was able to get out of inning without allowing any more runs. Hendricks ended up allowing two runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in three innings.

Pedro Strop gave up a walk but that was all in his inning of work. Strop threw strikes, for the most part, and retired three of the four batters he faced with two strikeouts.

Jose Veras struggled with his command. Veras pitched from behind in the count and hit a batter. Veras did not allow a hit or walk a batter.

Hector Rondon issued a two-out walk to Lyle Overbay, but that was all. Rondon threw strikes and retired three of the four batters he faced as well.

Armando Rivero did not have it Sunday. Rivero struggled with his command, fell behind several batters and the ones he did not fall behind, he could not put away. Rivero was charged with four runs, three earned, on two hits and a walk in a third of an inning.

Zac Rosscup put together a better outing than his final line. Rosscup gave up a one-out double to Taylor Green but he should have gotten out of the inning when Pagnozzi hit a routine fly to right. Casper Wells could not see the ball and the Brewers scored a run on an Arizona single.

Justin Grimm walked a batter and gave up two hits in his inning of work. But he was able to wiggle out of a jam without allowing a run. Grimm was the victim of his defense not being able to see the baseball in the Arizona sun.

The Cubs travel to Scottsdale on Monday to take on the Giants. Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Jose De Paula in his third Cactus League start.

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Quote of the Day

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