Spring Training Game Twenty-Nine – Cubs (ss) 4, Angels 8
WP – Cory Rasmus (2-0) LP – Alberto Cabrera (0-1, BS 1) Save – None
The Cubs took a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning in front of a record crowd of 15,276 at Cubs Park. But Alberto Cabrera had his worst outing of the spring. The Angels sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs on seven hits and a walk in the ninth inning and handed the Cubs their tenth home loss of the spring (4-10).
Tsuyoshi Wada was not good on Tuesday but was able to give his manager four innings in the exhibition game. Wada threw 87 pitches, 53 for strikes, in four innings while allowing two runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Pedro Strop struck out two of the three batters he faced in the fifth while James Russell gave up a couple of hits but was able to keep the Angels off the board. Hector Rondon, by far, had his best outing of the spring. Rondon sat down the side in order with a strikeout.
The Cubs’ pen was very good on Tuesday afternoon until the ninth inning. Alberto Cabrera fell back into his old habits and left too many hittable pitches in the zone. The first four Angels all reached and hit for the cycle before he could record a single out. Cabrera needed a good outing on Tuesday to stay in the mix for a roster spot and he did not do himself any favors. The Angels squared him up rather well throughout his 18-pitch outing.
Junior Lake (1-for-4 with a home run) hit his fourth home run in his last two games on Tuesday and was the story once again until the ninth inning. Lake cleared the berm in left with another long home run. Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a RBI and a walk) had a good day at the plate while Mike Olt (1-for-3 with a run scored) singled and scored in the second inning. Albert Almora (0-for-1 with a RBI) drove in one of the Cubs’ four runs before he left the game. Dan Vogelbach (2-for-4 with a run scored) recorded a couple of hits and scored one of the Cubs’ runs.
The Cubs scored four runs on nine hits with two walks and went 3-for-9 with RISP while leaving four men on base.
Mike Olt made two very good plays in the field on Tuesday. Olt made a barehand pick-up and strong throw to first on a bunt attempt by Mike Trout in the third inning. And Olt made a nice pick and throw to first in the fifth inning to retire C.J. Cron.
Albert Almora was not scheduled to play in Tuesday’s game against the Angels. Almora first replaced Darnell McDonald as the team’s DH then replaced Justin Ruggiano in the lineup after he was scratched with left ankle soreness. Almora recorded the third out in the fourth inning with an excellent diving catch in left center to take away a hit from Collin Cowgill. Almora crashed into the wall and lay on the warning track while Junior Lake waived for help. P.J. Mainville jogged out to help Almora. He eventually got to his feet then jogged off the field. The Cubs said Almora has a bruised right knee and he is fine.
With Tuesday afternoon’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 12-17 in the Cactus League.
Tsuyoshi Wada continued struggling with his command on Tuesday afternoon. Wada issued a leadoff walk to Kole Calhoun. Mike Trout followed with a single to right. Calhoun advanced to third with no outs. Albert Pujols plated Calhoun with a sac fly to right … 1-0 Angels. Wada walked Josh Hamilton to put runners on first and second with one down. Chris Iannetta flied out to right, Trout advanced to third but was stranded when Wada retired Raul Ibanez on a grounder to Valbuena at second base.
Mike Olt led off the second inning with a solid single to center. Dan Vogelbach followed with a single to right. With runners on first and third with no outs, Christian Villanueva fouled out to left for the first out. Darwin Barney put together a good at bat against Brandon Lyon. Barney worked a full count before looping a single into left. Olt scored, game tied at one. Eli Whiteside singled to right and loaded the bases with one down. Mike Scioscia decided that was enough for Lyon and went to his pen for David Carpenter. Albert Almora stepped in and hit a slow chopper up the third baseline. Stewart fielded the ball, stepped on third, but could not get Almora at first base. Vogelbach scored on Almora’s fielder’s choice, 2-1 Cubs. Carpenter caught Lake looking at a 0-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Cubs took a 2-1 lead into the fourth inning. Raul Ibanez led off the inning with a solo shot off of Wada that tied the game at two. Wada retired Aybar (grounder to short) and Stewart (flyout to left) before giving up a double to left to Grant Green. Albert Almora made a sensational diving catch as he slid into the wall in left center on a ball hit by Collin Cowgill to end the inning. Junior Lake immediately called for help as Almora lay on the warning track in left center. Almora eventually got to his feet and jogged off the field.
Matt Shoemaker replaced Ernesto Frieri for the fifth inning and retired Eli Whiteside (pop out to second) and Zeke DeVoss (swinging strikeout) quickly for the first two outs. Junior Lake launched his fourth homer in his last two games that gave the Cubs the lead … the ball ended up in the back of the berm in left, it was not a cheap shot. Valbuena struck out swinging to end the inning.
The game remained 3-2 Cubs until the seventh inning.
Michael Kohn replaced Fernando Salas for the seventh and struck out Christian Villanueva swinging to start the inning. Darwin Barney walked but was thrown out trying to steal second with Kottaras at the plate. George Kottaras ended up doubling to center and he scored on a single to right off the bat of minor leaguer Zeke DeVoss. DeVoss stole second with Lake at the dish but Lake struck out swinging to end the inning.
Alberto Cabrera took the hill in the ninth with the Cubs up 4-2 … and 18 pitches later he left the game with the score tied at four, the bases loaded and one out. Ian Stewart made it 4-3 Cubs with a home run to right center. Grant Green followed with a triple to right center. Collin Cowgill doubled to left, Green scored and tied the game at four. J.B. Shuck singled to right. Cowgill held at third with no outs … and the first four batters hit for the cycle off of Cabrera. Cron struck out swinging as Shuck stole second base. Cabrera intentionally walked Brandon Boesch to load the bases with one out. Rick Renteria decided that was enough for Cabrera and went to his pen for Frank Batista. Shawn O’Malley singled to center, Cowgill scored and the Angels took a 5-4 lead. Abel Baker followed with a single to center. Shuck and Boesch scored, 7-4 Angels. After Taylor Lindsey flied out to right, Ian Stewart singled to left. O’Malley scored, 8-4 Angels. Batista caught Grant Green looking to finally end the inning.
The Cubs have a night game in Peoria on Tuesday night with the Padres (C.J. Edwards against Andrew Cashner). Wednesday the Cubs travel to Scottsdale to take on the Diamondbacks.