Spring Training Game Two – Cubs (ss) 6, Giants 8
WP – Hunter Strickland (1-0) LP – Hunter Cervenka (0-1, BS 1) Save – Erik Cordler (1)
Kyle Schwarber celebrated his 22nd birthday in grand fashion Thursday afternoon in Scottsdale with a slam in second inning off Ryan Vogelsong. Billy McKinney homered in the eighth but the prospect laden lineup didn’t receive any help from the bullpen and the Cubs lost their first game of the spring.
The Cubs jumped out to an early lead after Jorge Soler (1-for-3 with a run scored) and Welington Castillo (1-for-2 with a run scored) led off the second inning with singles. Kris Bryant (0-for-2 with a walk, a strikeout and a run scored) walked and loaded the bases for Kyle Schwarber (1-for-3 with a home run and four RBI).
Kyle Schwarber, who turned 22 years old Thursday, stepped in for his first at bat of the spring and cleared the bases with a blast over the right field wall.
The Cubs had a 5-0 lead as late as the sixth inning before the Giants started pecking away. Billy McKinney (1-for-1 with a home run) gave the Cubs a 6-3 lead in the eighth with a solo shot off Hunter Strickland. Hunter Cervenka was charged with five runs, four earned, on four hits with two walks in the eighth. And the Giants walked away with a very costly spring victory.
Corey Black pitched the sixth inning and hit Hunter Pence in his left forearm. Pence left the game and X-rays revealed that he broke his left forearm and will be out for 6-8 weeks.
Jacob Turner started the game and did not allow a run in his two innings. Turner walked two batters and gave up a hit with a strikeout.
Pierce Johnson was reportedly very sharp facing Major League hitters. Johnson walked one and struck out a batter in two innings without allowing any runs or hits. Joseph Ortiz tossed a scoreless inning.
Corey Black (one run on one hit with two walks and a hit by pitch in one inning), Jorge De Leon (two runs on two hits in one inning) and Hunter Cervenka gave the exhibition game to the Giants. Austin Kirk, up for the day from minor league camp, recorded the last two outs in the eighth inning.
Before Dave Martinez’s young bullpen imploded, the top prospects in the system provided all of the highlights.
Addison Russell (1-for-3 with a run scored) and Albert Almora (2-for-2) were successful at the plate in their spring debuts along with Schwarber, Soler, Bryant and McKinney. And former top prospect, Arismendy Alcantara was 1-for-2 with a RBI after starting the game in center field.
The Cubs host the Reds on Friday afternoon (2:05pm CST). Jon Lester is scheduled to make his Cubs debut against fellow lefty Tony Cingrani.