Two Out Base Knocks Lift the Cubs Over the Halos – Cubs 4, Angels 2

Spring Training Game Twenty – Cubs (ss) 4, Angels (ss) 2

WP – Edwin Jackson (1-2) LP – Joe Blanton (1-2) Save – Neil Ramirez (1)

wflag-pub2014Edwin Jackson pitched four scoreless innings and the offense did just enough against Joe Blanton as the Cubs held on to beat the Angels on Monday afternoon in Mesa.

Edwin Jackson needed Monday’s outing, even against an Angels’ lineup without their big bats. Jackson mixed his pitches, threw strikes and got his work in. Jackson surrendered three hits with one walk and six strikeouts in four innings.

Chang-Yong Lim gave up a hit and walked a batter in the fifth but did not allow the Angels to cross the plate. Jose Veras pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning with a strikeout and Neil Ramirez was impressive in the ninth as he earned his first save of the spring.

After a spotless seventh inning, Blake Parker struggled in the eighth and ended up being charged with two runs on one hit with a walk, a wild pitch and no strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings. The second run hung on Parker scored after he left the game. Parker and Paolo Espino uncorked two wild pitches in the eighth that allowed both of the Angels’ runs to score.

The Cubs offense managed only six hits but three of them came with two outs in the third inning that accounted for three of the Cubs’ four runs on the afternoon.

Emilio Bonifacio (1-for-3 with a triple, a RBI, a walk and a run scored) tripled in Darnell McDonald (2-for-2 with a double, a RBI, a walk and a run scored), Ryan Roberts (1-for-3 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) doubled in Bonifacio. And Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a RBI) singled in Roberts. The Cubs’ fourth run scored in the sixth when McDonald singled in Nate Schierholtz (0-for-3 with a HBP and a run scored) with two outs.

The Cubs improved to 10-10 in the Cactus League with Monday’s win over an Angels’ split squad.

Scoring Plays

After Ryan Sweeney flied out to center for the first out in the third inning, Darnell McDonald worked a walk after being behind in the count 0-2. Luis Valbuena flied out to right for the second out. Emilio Bonifacio tripled to right center (a standup triple). McDonald scored, 1-0 Cubs. Ryan Roberts followed and just missed a home run to left. The ball hit off the wall, Bonifacio scored easily as Roberts rumbled into second with a double. Anthony Rizzo singled to right on a 0-2 pitch. Roberts scored, 3-0 Cubs.

The game remained 3-0 Cubs until the sixth inning.

After Blanton retired Justin Ruggiano on a flyout to center, Clay Rapada took over on the hill and hit Nate Schierholtz. Welington Castillo singled to center. Schierholtz stopped at second with one out. Ryan Sweeney rolled one out to Carlos Pena at first. The Angels could not turn two and the Cubs had runners on the corners with two outs. Matt Shoemaker replaced Rapada on the mound and Darnell McDonald ripped a clean single into center. Schierholtz scored, 4-0 Cubs. Valbuena struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs took a 4-0 lead into the eighth inning.

Andrew Romine led off the eighth with a double to left. Blake Parker induced a grounder to Lars Anderson at first base off the bat of Brennen Boesch for the first out. Romine advanced to third on the play. With Luis Martinez at the plate, Parker lost the grip on the baseball. The ball sailed to the backstop, Romine scored, 4-1 Cubs. Parker then walked Marinez. Ian Stewart flied out to center for the second out. Minor Leaguer Paolo Espino replaced Parker and gave up a single to Chad Tracy. With runners on the corners, two out and Carlos Pena at the plate, Espino threw the second wild pitch of the inning. Martinez scored, 4-2 Cubs. Pena worked a walk and Collin Cowgill singled to right to load the bases. Matt Long grounded out to Bonifacio at second base to end the inning.

The Cubs play only one game on Tuesday. The Cubs make the trip back to Surprise to take on the Rangers under the lights (9:05pm CDT). Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Alexi Ogando.

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Quote of the Day

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