Spring Training Game Thirty-Two – Cubs 4, White Sox 3
WP – Travis Wood (1-2) LP – Felipe Paulino (1-2) Save – Neil Ramirez (2)
15,170 were on hand for the final spring game of the inaugural year of Cubs Park and helped establish a new Cactus League attendance record. 213,815 went through the gates at beautiful Cubs Park, an average of 14,254 per game that broke the previous Spring Training average attendance record (Cactus League and Grapefruit League) of 12,125 set in 2005.
Travis Wood, Carlos Villanueva and James Russell dominated an overly aggressive White Sox roster on getaway day for the first six innings of the game.
Travis Wood needed only 36 pitches (23 strikes) to get through three shutout innings. Wood allowed two hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Carlos Villanueva retired all six batters he faced in his two innings of work with two strikeouts. James Russell surrendered a hit and struck out a batter in relief of Villanueva. The Sox managed to put only two runners into scoring position in the first seven innings.
Brian Schlitter gave up a run in the eighth and Wesley Wright served up back-to-back home runs to Adam Dunn and Alejandro De Aza in the ninth. Neil Ramirez took over for Wright with one out in the ninth and struck out the two batters he faced to close out the spring win.
Ryan Sweeney (2-for-3 with a home run) notched two hits and launched his first home run of the spring in the second inning that gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Emilio Bonifacio (1-for-3 with a stolen base and a run scored) scored the first run after a leadoff single, a stolen base, advancing to third on a groundout by Ryan Kalish and a groundout by Anthony Rizzo (0-for-3 with a RBI).
Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a RBI) singled in Mike Olt (1-for-4 with a run scored) in the sixth inning and Justin Ruggiano (1-for-3 with a double and a RBI) doubled in Welington Castillo (2-for-2 with a run scored) in the fourth inning.
The Cubs improved to 13-18-1 with Thursday’s Cactus League win over the White Sox with two games left on their spring schedule.
Emilio Bonifacio led off the game with a single to right off of Jose Abreu’s glove. With Kalish at the plate, Bonifacio swiped second and advanced to third when Ryan Kalish grounded out to first base. Anthony Rizzo smoked a 1-0 pitch down the right field line. Abreu dove and got a glove on the ball. But the ball appeared to hit the first base umpire and roll right back to Abreu. Rizzo was thrown out at first as Bonifacio scored, 1-0 Cubs. Mike Olt fouled out to Abreu to end the inning.
Ryan Sweeney led off the second with his first home run of the spring. Sweeney’s shot put the Cubs up 2-0. Welington Castillo followed with a single to center. But Ruggiano popped out to second, Valbuena flied out to left and Barney fouled out to end the inning.
The Cubs added a run in the fourth inning. Paulino recorded two quick outs to start the inning. Olt was caught looking and Sweeney flied out to left center. Welington Castillo singled to center with two down and scored when Justin Ruggiano hit Paulino’s first pitch into right center. Ruggiano ended up with a double. Luis Valbuena walked. With two on and two down, Darwin Barney lined out to a diving Adam Eaton in left center to end the inning.
The game remained 3-0 Cubs until the sixth inning.
Mike Olt led off the sixth with a single to center off of Maikel Cleto. Ryan Sweeney singled to right. Olt advanced to third on the play. Zeke DeVoss ran for Sweeney and advanced to second with John Baker at the plate. With runners on second and third with no outs, Baker tapped back to the mound for the first out. Ruggiano was caught looking for the second out. Luis Valbuena walked to load the bases. Darwin Barney singled to left center. Olt scored, 4-0 Cubs. With the bases loaded and Stephen Bruno running for Barney at first base, Marco Hernandez struck out swinging for the third out.
The Sox got on the board in the eighth against Brian Schlitter. Blake Tekotte reached on a two-out double and scored on a single to left by Marcus Semien … 4-1 Cubs. Rick Renteria went to his pen for Westley Wright. Andy Wilkins lined out to a diving Matt Szczur in right center to end the inning.
Wesley Wright started the ninth. After recording a quick out to start the inning, Wright served up back-to-back home runs to lefties Adam Dunn and Alejandro De Aza. With only one out and the Cubs holding on to a 4-3 lead, Renteria went to his pen for Neil Ramirez. Ramirez struck out Leury Garcia and Alex Liddi to end the game.
Two games remain for the Cubs this spring, and both are at Chase Field against the Diamondbacks. Edwin Jackson faces Trevor Cahill on Friday night (8:40pm CDT) and Jason Hammel is scheduled to take on Bronson Arroyo on Saturday afternoon (3:10pm CDT).