Padres Pounce on Cubs Pitching – Padres 7, Cubs 1

Spring Training Game Twenty-Eight – Cubs 1, Padres 7

WP – Eric Stults (2-1) LP – Carlos Villanueva (1-1) Save – None

Carlos Villanueva and the bullpen could not keep the Padres off the bases while the offense was not able to string together any hits against San Diego’s staff as the Cubs dropped the first ever night game at Cubs Park to the Friars.

Carlos Villanueva did not help his own cause on Monday in his competition with Chris Rusin for the fifth spot in the rotation. Villanueva lasted only four innings and gave up three runs on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. And it was a two-out walk to Seth Smith in the fourth inning that did him in. Villanueva walked Smith after retiring eight batters in a row. The next batter, Tommy Medica, hit a two-run homer and Villanueva was replaced by Jose Veras for the fifth inning.

Jose Veras really struggled Monday night. Veras pitched from behind in the count to nearly every batter he faced. Veras was reportedly wild as well and missed his spots by feet and not inches. Veras allowed two runs on three hits with a walk, a hit batsman and a strikeout.

Brian Schlitter was solid in the sixth inning. Schlitter struck out three and gave up a hit. Justin Grimm worked out of a jam in the seventh before leaving with one out in the eighth. Grimm turned the game over to minor leaguer Hunter Cervenka with two on and both of those runners scored. Grimm was charged with two runs on three hits with a walk and no strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings.

Neil Ramirez threw heat in the ninth inning (mid-upper 90s) and struck out three of the four batters he faced.

Cubs pitching allowed seven runs on 10 hits with five walks, a HBP and 11 strikeouts.

Emilio Bonifacio (1-for-4 with a triple and a run scored) scored the Cubs only run in the first inning. Bonifacio notched his fourth triple of the spring and scored on a groundout to third off the bat of Donnie Murphy (1-for-3 with a RBI). Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a HBP) put together good at bats against the Padres’ lefty and collected one of the Cubs’ seven hits. Welington Castillo (1-for-2 with a double and a walk) doubled and walked in his three plate appearances.

The Cubs managed seven hits but only one run and one walk and finished the night 0-for-8 with RISP while leaving seven men on base.

With Monday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 12-16 in the Cactus League.

Scoring Plays

Emilio Bonifacio led off the first with a triple into the right field corner. Donnie Murphy hit a grounder to Chase Headley at third. Bonifacio took off for the plate when Headley threw to first. Bonifacio scored, 1-0 Cubs. Eric Stults hit Anthony Rizzo before striking out Justin Ruggiano for the second out. Nate Schierholtz reached on an infield single to third. But Welington Castillo grounded out to short to end the inning.

The Padres tied the game in the top of the second. Jedd Gyorko led off the inning with a single to center. Seth Smith followed with a double to right center. Gyorko scored and tied the game at one. Tommy Medica flied out to right and Nick Hundley grounded out to second. With Smith at third, Eric Stults flied out to right center to end the inning.

The game remained tied at one until the fourth inning.

Carlos Villanueva retired Carlos Quentin (flyout to left) and Gyorko (swinging strikeout) for the first two outs. Villanueva issued a two-out walk to Seth Smith, and it cost him. Tommy Medica hit a long homer over the wall in left center (1-1 pitch) and the Padres took a 3-1 lead. Villanueva walked Headley before retiring Stults on a grounder to first to end the inning.

Jose Veras replaced Villanueva for the fifth inning and really struggled. Everth Cabrera led off the inning with a single to center (3-1 pitch). With Venable at the plate, Cabrera stole second. Veras ended up walking Will Venable. With runners on first and second with no outs, Chase Headley ripped a 2-1 pitch into the right field corner. Cabrera scored, 4-1 Padres. Veras struck out Quentin for the first out. Veras then hit Gyorko with a 0-1 pitch to load the bases with one out. Seth Smith singled to left. Venable scored, 5-1 Padres. Tommy Medica flied out to left on a 3-1 pitch and Hundley grounded out to short on a 2-1 pitch to end the inning.

The Padres tacked on to their lead in the eighth inning. Justin Grimm stayed in for his second inning of work. Nick Hundley led off the eighth with a ground rule double to center over Ryan Kalish. Alexi Amarista followed with a single to left center (1-2 pitch). Hundley held at third. Everth Cabrera dropped down a bunt. Grimm picked up the ball, checked the runner at third and threw out Cabrera at first. Amarista advanced to second on the play. And Rick Renteria went to his pen. Minor Leaguer Hunter Cervenka replaced Grimm with runners on second and third with one down. Cervenka uncorked a wild pitch with Venable at the plate that allowed Hundley to score from third, 6-1 Padres. Amarista advanced to third and scored when Venable grounded out to Arismendy Alcantara, 7-1 Padres. Brooks Conrad hit for Tim Stauffer and was caught looking to end the inning.

The Cubs play two on Tuesday in the team’s final split squad day. Tsuyoshi Wada takes on Brandon Lyon and the Angels’ bullpen on Tuesday afternoon at Cubs Park (3:05pm CDT). And in the night cap (9:05pm CDT), C.J. Edwards and the other split squad will face Andrew Cashner and the Padres in Peoria.

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