Spring Training Game Thirty-Two – Cubs 4, Indians 3
WP – Chris Rusin (3-0) LP – Ubaldo Jimenez (2-1) Save – Jensen Lewis (3)
The Cubs topped the Indians in the third and final meeting of the spring with the Tribe on Sunday afternoon. Chris Rusin and Michael Bowden pitched a combined seven innings of shutout ball while the offense did just enough against Ubaldo Jimenez.
Chris Rusin was very, very good once again on Sunday afternoon. Rusin tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings while allowing just two hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Rusin worked around back-to-back walks to start the second without allowing any runs. Once again Rusin did a nice job of mixing his pitches while keeping a majority of the Indians’ Opening Day lineup off balance at the plate. Rusin retired five of the six leadoff hitters he faced and sat down seven of the last eight batters he faced.
Michael Bowden took over for Rusin with one out in the sixth and retired all five batters he faced over his 1 2/3 innings. Rusin and Bowden did not allow a hit from the fourth inning through the seventh.
Casey Coleman struggled with his command in the eighth. Coleman was lifted with runners on second and third with two down and the Cubs up 4-0. Zach Putnam could not get out of the jam. Mike Avilies singled in the Indians first two runs of the game. While the runs were charged to Coleman, Putnam did not help his case to make the roster by giving up the two-strike hit.
Jensen Lewis escaped the ninth. Lewis gave up a run on three hits and struck out the last two batters he faced to end the game.
The Cubs offense managed just four runs on five hits with two walks on Sunday. Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) doubled in Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a double and a run scored) in the fourth inning. The Cubs scored three times in the eighth after showing a little patience at the plate.
Both of the Cubs’ free passes came in the eighth inning and one scored. The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs after Welington Castillo led off the inning with a walk. Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a run scored) singled and Alberto Gonzalez worked a free pass. Luis Valbuena drove in Castillo with a sac fly to right. Barney scored the Cubs’ third run when a Dioner Navarro (0-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored) hit a pop fly into shallow center that was not caught. Steve Clevenger (1-for-1 with a double and a RBI) then doubled in Navarro with the Cubs’ fourth and final run.
The Cubs’ defense was very good once again on Sunday. Welington Castillo picked off Nick Swisher from first base in the second inning. Starlin Castro turned a double play, and Darwin Barney continued to show that his Gold Glove award was well deserved.
With Sunday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 16-15 in the Cactus League …
Chris Rusin and Ubaldo Jimenez locked in a pitcher’s duel on Sunday afternoon. Both pitchers put a lot of zeros on the board until the fourth inning.
Anthony Rizzo pulled a 3-2 pitch from Jimenez into the right fielder corner. Rizzo ended up at second with a one-out double. Alfonso Soriano stepped in, and just missed a home run. Soriano pulled a 1-2 pitch to deep left. The ball hit off the wall, about halfway up, and Rizzo scampered home with the game’s first run. Starlin Castro grounded out to short, Soriano advanced to third but was stranded when Scott Hairston grounded out to third (3-1 pitch) to end the inning.
The exhibition game remained 1-0 until the eighth inning. Rusin completed another scoreless performance while Michael Bowden tossed 1 2/3 shutout innings.
Ubaldo Jimenez took the hill for the eighth inning. Jimenez retired 11 batters in a row prior to walking Welington Castillo to start the inning. Darwin Barney followed with a single to center and chased Jimenez from the game. Terry Francona brought in Cody Allen and the righty could not throw strikes.
Alberto Gonzalez tried to give the Indians an out with a sac bunt, but Allen walked him instead to load the bases with no outs. Luis Valbuena pulled a 3-1 pitch to deep right that allowed Castillo to tag and score from third. Barney tagged and advanced to third on the play.
With runners on first and third with one down, Dioner Navarro hit a routine fly into shallow center. The ball dropped in between the Indians’ shortstop and centerfielder. Barney scored as Gonzalez was being forced at second base. Steve Clevenger drove a 1-0 pitch from Allen to deep center. Navarro lumbered around the bases, and scored from first on Clevenger’s double. Soriano popped out to shallow left to end the inning.
Casey Coleman replaced Bowden for the eighth. Coleman struggled with his command and allowed the Indians to jump back into the game.
Mark Reynolds flied out to deep right (2-2 pitch) to start the inning. Lonnie Chisenhall singled to right … the Indians’ first hit since the fourth inning. Matt Antonelli ran for Chisenhall. Coleman then walked the free-swinging Drew Stubbs. Francona sent in Tyler Holt to run for Stubbs at first. Ezequiel Carrera hit a grounder to first that Justin Bour, up for the day from minor league camp, bobbled but recovered and recorded the out at first. With runners on second and third with two down, Sveum made the slow walk and went to his pen for Zach Putnam.
Zach Putnam did not help his case to break camp with the team. Putnam jumped ahead of Mike Avilies 0-2 but made a mistake with his next pitch, left a fastball up, and Avilies deposited it into left. Antonelli and Holt scored, 4-2 Cubs. Ryan Raburn flied out to right to end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing in the ninth … and Jensen Lewis took over in the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs up 4-2.
Chris McGuiness led off the ninth with a double into the right fielder corner. Hernandez popped out to short before Brian Jeroloman singled to left. With runners on first and third with one down, Yan Gomes hit for Mark Reynolds and singled to right. McGuiness scored, 4-3 Cubs. Lewis struck out Cord Phelps swinging for the second out … Lewis struck out Tyler Holt to end the game.
The Cubs host the Giants at HoHoKam Park on Monday afternoon. Travis Wood is scheduled to face Ryan Vogelsong.