Cubs Lose McDonald to Injury and the Exhibition Game to the A’s – Athletics 6, Cubs 2

Spring Training Game Twenty-One – Cubs (ss) 2, Athletics 6

WP – Joe Savery (1-0) LP – Yao-Lin Wang (0-1) Save – None

James McDonald exited Monday’s game in Phoenix after only his second pitch of the day and his early departure set a tone for the afternoon. The Cubs were never in the exhibition game as the A’s took a shutout into the ninth that minor leaguer Jonathan Mota broke up with a two-run home run and the A’s beat the Cubs 6-2.

The official word on James McDonald is right shoulder soreness and he will be evaluated on Tuesday. But the diagnosis does not sound good for the 29-year old right hander. McDonald dealt with shoulder issues last season and was trying to earn a spot in the Cubs’ rotation.

Rick Renteria ended up using a host of minor league pitchers that spent the day in Phoenix with the big league team just to complete the game. Yao-Lin Wang, Jeffery Lorick, Dallas Beeler and Marcos Mateo ate up a majority of the innings and lefties Jonathan Sanchez and Zac Rosscup pitched the final two frames on Monday. Rosscup retired all three batters he faced in the ninth and picked up two strikeouts.

The Cubs’ offense managed seven hits against the A’s pitching staff. Ryan Kalish (2-for-3) and Javier Baez (1-for-3) collected three of the seven. The Cubs managed only one extra base hit, and that was the Jonathan Mota home run in the ninth, and went 0-for-1 with RISP while leaving four men on base.

Javier Baez started the game at second base and handled four chances in the field rather well. Javier Baez and Darwin Barney even turned a slick 6-4-3 double play.

With Monday afternoon’s loss in Phoenix, the Cubs slipped to 10-11 in Cactus League play.

Scoring Plays

Yao-Lin Wang gave up a leadoff single to Brandon Moss in the second inning. After Alberto Callaspo popped out to Javier Baez, Stephen Vogt walked. Nick Punto singled to right. Moss scored, 1-0 A’s. Rick Renteria went to his pen for Jeffery Lorick. Eric Sogard executed the squeeze bunt. Vogt scored, 2-0 Oakland. With Punto at second and two down, Coco Crisp grounded out to Christian Villanueva at third to end the inning.

The game remained 2-0 Oakland until the fifth inning.

Dallas Beeler gave up a leadoff double to Eric Sogard in the fifth. Coco Crisp singled to left, Sogard scored … 3-0 Oakland. Beeler caught John Jaso looking for the first out then Josh Reddick rapped into the 6-4-3 inning ending double play. Darwin Barney made an excellent pick on a ball ticketed for center, flipped to Javier Baez, who made a strong throw to first to complete the double play.

Yoenis Cespedes started the sixth with a single to left off of Dallas Beeler. Brandon Moss doubled to center, Cespedes scored … 4-0 A’s. Beeler retired Callaspo on a flyout to right and struck out Stephen Vogt swinging. Nick Punto singled to center. Moss scored, 5-0 Oakland, and Renteria decided that was enough for Dallas Beeler. Marcos Mateo replaced Beeler and struck out Eric Sogard swinging to end the inning.

Oakland tacked on another run in the seventh against Jonathan Sanchez. Sanchez struggled again after Billy Burns led off with a double to right. Chris Gimenez flied out to center. The speedy Burns tagged and advanced to third. Josh Reddick singled to right, Burns scored … 6-0 A’s. Jake Elmore singled to center but with two on and one out, Nate Freiman hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

The Cubs’ lone runs came in the ninth inning against Frank Gailey. Wes Darvill struck out swinging for the first out. Yasiel Balaguert singled to center. After Chris Valaika flied out to right, Jonathan Mota launched the first pitch he saw over the wall in left … 6-2 A’s. Christian Villanueva grounded out to third to end the inning.

The streak of split squad days came to an end on Monday. The Cubs play a single, full squad game Tuesday in Surprise against the Rangers. Jason Hammel is scheduled to square off against Alexi Ogando.

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Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • Eugene Debs

    Tough break for McDonald.

    • paulcatanese

      yes it is, to have that two times is a bummer

  • Richard Hood

    I want to know how Baez played on defense at 2nd. Anyone see the game by chance?

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  • GaryLeeT

    Yet another “be patient” article, but as those go, a pretty entertaining read. Sorry, if this has already been mentioned, or posted.

    • Theboardrider

      Probably will surprise nobody to learn that I pretty much agree with this article 100%.

      • Tony_H

        What’s not to agree with?? Most people in the industry say that the Cubs are building a monster of a team and just yesterday Parks said in an interview with Tom Loxas this about the system: “They have a ton of talent. It’s hard to find much fault with it. Sure, they could have more arms. But I watched Tseng pitch this weekend and he looked like a stud; Edwards and Johnson have realistic major league ceilings; and the upcoming draft should yield a blast of pitching talent. The weakness of the present could quickly become a strength with positive development in 2014 and a strong amateur haul this June.”

        I think people have been underestimating the 19 year old Tseng signing in the IFA market last year and honestly forgotten about it. Here is a report on him from BA.

  • Jonny Dollar

    Tough break for McDonald indeed, but I really liked Baez at 2B. I think it’s going to be an easy transition for him and that’s exciting in my view.

  • Zonk

    Is Rusin the favorite now for 5th starter? I personally think he is very replacement-level, and his performance last year was smoke and mirrors…..but he’s done OK in camp, is healthy, is on the 40-man, and is stretched out as a starter.

    It’s either him or Carlos Villanueva, and seems like they prefer Carlos in bullpen, where he can also serve as emergency starter

    • Tony_H

      Most 5th starters are replacement level, give or take a little. I prefer Villanueva to get these starts at the beginning of the year, but mainly to help with the bullpen options and let real games decide which bullpen arms should stay when Arrieta is ready.

  • mutantbeast

    Baez looked fairly comfortable at 2b yesterday.