Cubs on the Wrong End of a Spring Shutout – Indians 1, Cubs 0

Spring Training Game Seven – Cubs 0, Indians 1

WP – Aaron Harang (1-0) LP – Justin Grimm (0-1) Save – Scott Barnes (1)

The Cubs outhit the Indians 9-4 on Thursday afternoon in Goodyear but the offense could not push across a single run and the Cubs dropped their fifth game of the spring.

Travis Wood was very good in his first Cactus League start. Wood tossed three innings of shutout ball and was so efficient with his pitches that he had to finish getting his pitch count up in the bullpen. Wood allowed one hit and no walks with three strikeouts.

The only blemish for Cubs pitching came in the fourth inning when Justin Grimm issued a bases loaded walk to Asdrubal Cabrera that forced in Nick Swisher with the only run of the game.

Hector Rondon, Chang-Yong Lim, Marcus Hatley and Tommy Hottovy each tossed one inning of shutout baseball. And Cubs pitching on the day allowed one run on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

The Cubs’ offense pounded out nine hits to go along with five walks and seemingly had runners on base all afternoon. The Cubs went 2-for-11 with RISP and left 11 runners on base. The Cubs loaded the bases twice with less than two outs in the first six innings and could not string together enough hits to plate a run.

Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3) collected two more hits. Emilio Bonifacio (2-for-4 with a stolen base) reached base twice on infield singles and swiped a base. Darwin Barney (1-for-3), Donnie Murphy (1-for-3 with a double), Mike Olt (1-for-3) and Albert Almora (1-for-3) recorded a hit apiece. And not only did Barney see time at shortstop on Thursday, but so did Logan Watkins. Watkins took over for Barney at short in the sixth inning.

Slugging percentage wins games and of the 11 hits the Cubs managed Thursday, only one went for extra bases. With the loss in Goodyear, the Cubs slipped to 2-5 in Cactus League play.

Scoring Plays

Justin Grimm replaced Travis Wood for the fourth inning. Nick Swisher reached on an infield single to third to start the inning. Jason Kipnis followed with a single to left and the Indians had two on with no outs. Carlos Santana hit a chopper to Olt at first. Olt took the sure out at first as Swisher and Kipnis moved up ninety feet. Grimm then plunked Michael Brantley. With the bases loaded and one out, Asdrubal Cabrera worked a full count then took ball four. Swisher scored, 1-0 Indians. After a visit from Chris Bosio, Grimm caught Yan Gomes looking at a 0-2 pitch and David Murphy grounded out to short to end the inning.

And the game ended with the same score, 1-0 Indians.

Pitching

Travis Wood put together the second best outing by a Cubs’ starter so far this spring. Albert Almora made a diving catch to take a hit away from Jason Kipnis in the first inning and Michael Brantley doubled with one out in the second, but that was all.

Justin Grimm gave up half of the Indians hit total for the afternoon and the only run of the game. Grimm settled down after his meeting with Chris Bosio and even threw his slider, which is a new pitch he reportedly learned from Yu Darvish.

Hector Rondon issued a four-pitch walk to Nick Swisher with two outs in the fifth. Rondon did his job and recorded the outs, but he went to a three-ball count to three of the four batters he faced.

Chang-Yong Lim faced the minimum in the sixth. Marcus Hatley gave up a leadoff single to Yan Gomes but that was all in the seventh and Tommy Hottovy pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning.

Friday is a slit squad day for the Cubs. Half of the roster will host Cleveland with Edwin Jackson taking on Carlos Carrasco while the other half will travel to Tempe to take on the Angels. James McDonald is scheduled to face Hector Santiago.

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