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.
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.