Spring Training Game Twenty-Five – Cubs 8 White Sox 8 – 10 innings
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For the first time this spring a Cubs game ended in a tie after Lou Piniella’s crew rallied with 3 runs in the bottom of the 10th. The Cubs played catch-up all afternoon against the White Sox after spotting them an early 4-0 lead. The Cubs scored 4 runs in the 6th to tie the game after a triple by Derrek Lee, doubles by Aramis Ramirez and Geovany Soto and a single by Felix Pie. The Cubs scored 3 of the 4 runs in the 6th with 2 outs.
Ronny Cedeno doubled to lead off the 9th and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly to right by Alfonso Soriano. Cedeno also walked with the bases loaded in the 10th that forced in a run. Matt Murton had a big hit in the 10th that drove in a pair but was ruled an error. The Cubs had the winning run in scoring position in both the 9th and 10th inning with only 1 out but were unable to come up with the hit they needed to put a win on the board.
Ted Lilly made his fourth start of the spring and pitched a lot better than his line indicates. Lilly gave up 4 runs on 7 hits with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts in 7 innings but several of the hits Lilly surrendered were bloops that found green….and he retired the last 7 batters he faced.
Kerry Wood, or should he be called ‘Kloser K‘, threw a dominating inning that featured 2 strikeouts. Bobby Howry struck out 1 and gave up a hit in the 8th inning. Kevin Hart retired the first two batters he faced with ease before giving up an opposite field solo home run to Juan Uribe in the 9th. Scott Eyre struggled once again and gave up 3 runs on 4 hits with a walk in the 10th. Lou Piniella stated before the game that he had changed his mind a day after “thinking out loud“. Piniella said he would move Kosuke Fukudome back to the 2-hole in the lineup and Alfonso Soriano would fall to the middle of the order….Piniella called Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano “interchangeable.” Well, in typical Lou fashion, he said on Saturday that Soriano would continue to hit in the 2-hole, for now.
Javier Vazquez dominated the Cubs offense through the first 5 innings. He struck out 5, did not allow a run and surrendered only 2 hits….but that all changed in the 6th.
Derrek Lee tripled to the right field corner with 1-out in the 6th. Aramis Ramirez followed with a double to right and Kosuke Fukudome walked. Eric Patterson replaced Mark DeRosa and grounded into a fielder’s choice for the 2nd out. Geovany Soto then hit a 2-run double to center and Felix Pie followed with a single to right that tied the game at 4.
The White Sox bullpen was very effective after Vazquez left the game and allowed only 2 base runners until the 9th inning.
Ronny Cedeno pinch hit for Kevin Hart and doubled down the 3rd base line on the first pitch from Boone Logan. Matt Murton hit for Mike Fontenot, walked on 4 pitches and Cedeno advanced to 3rd on a ball 4….a wild pitch. Alfonso Soriano stepped in and hit a sacrifice fly to the wall in right, Cedeno scored.
Ozzie Guillen replaced Logan with Mike MacDougal. Derrek Lee walked to put Murton in scoring position with the winning run. Micah Hoffpauir hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Kosuke Fukudome led of the 10th with a single to left field. Eric Patterson walked on 4 pitches against Brian Omogrosso. Henry Blanco reached on a bloop single to right that Jermaine Dye lost in the sun. Ronny Cedeno worked a walk, after a good at bat, with the bases loaded to force in a run. Matt Murton then followed with a hard hit ball to right that Dye lost in the sun, 2 runs scored to tie the game and the Cubs had runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Casey McGehee could not put wood on the ball, struck out swinging and Sam Fuld grounded out to short to end the game.
The announcement was made during the bottom of the 10th that the game would end once the third out was recorded in the Cubs half of the inning.
The Cubs offense battled back nicely after a horrible start. Kosuke Fukudome had a good day at the plate. He reached base 4 times (2-for-4 with a walk and reached 2nd after an error by Juan Uribe in the 4th). Lou Piniella received production from the Big Three….Lee, 2-for-4 with a run scored and a walk. Ramirez, 1-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI. Soriano, 0-4 with a sacrifice fly.
Lou Piniella’s crew, with the tie, is 10-14-1 in Cactus League play with 7 left on the schedule.
The Cubs will make the journey to Peoria on Easter Sunday to face a bunch of familiar faces. Greg Maddux will make the start for the Padres and Lou Piniella will send Jason Marquis to the mound.