Spring Training Game Eleven – Cubs (ss) 5, Athletics (ss) 3
WP – Jake Arrieta (1-1) LP – Drew Pomeranz (0-1) Save – Blake Parker (1)
Jake Arrieta was charged with one unearned run over four innings, Eric Jokisch tossed three scoreless innings and the offense produced just enough runs on Friday night as the Cubs picked up their second win of the spring.
The bottom of the Cubs’ lineup was the difference in the first of two games against the A’s at Cashman Field. Junior Lake (1-for-2 with a walk, a RBI and a run scored), Tommy La Stella (3-for-3 with a run scored) and Addison Russell (1-for-1 with a double, two walks, two runs scored and a RBI) were a combined 5-for-6 with three walks, four runs scored and two RBI.
Dexter Fowler (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI) and Anthony Rizzo (0-for-4 with a RBI) collected the Cubs’ other two RBI.
The Cubs took a 2-1 lead in the third inning after Tommy La Stella singled and Addison Russell walked. Dexter Fowler singled to load the bases. Anthony Rizzo pulled a 1-1 pitch toward first that Matt Olson couldn’t handle. The A’s first baseman bobbled the grounder in the hole then threw the ball away. La Stella and Russell scored on the play.
With the Cubs still clinging to a 2-1 lead, the bottom of the lineup went to work in the sixth inning. After Javier Baez (0-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base) reached on an error and stole second, Junior Lake singled Baez in with the third run. Tommy La Stella followed with a single to right that put runners on first and third for Russell. La Stella was picked off first before Addison Russell doubled into the left field corner. Lake scored, 4-1 Cubs. Dexter Fowler followed with a double to right center that plated Russell with the Cubs’ fifth and final run of the game.
Jake Arrieta rebounded nicely from his first outing of the spring. After a shaky first inning where he appeared to be fighting himself again, Arrieta settled down and his fastball command improved as his outing wore on. Arrieta was scheduled to pitch three innings. Due to a rather efficient third inning, Arrieta went back out for the fourth.
Jake Arrieta gave up one unearned run on four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Arrieta threw 59 pitches, 40 for strikes, in four innings of work.
While Arrieta made improvements, Eric Jokisch looked like an entirely different pitcher than the one that faced the Rangers in Mesa. Jokisch had good command and issued only one walk over three scoreless innings. Jokisch did not allow a hit and struck out three batters. Jokisch might have pitched his way into the competition for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Donn Roach let the Athletics back in the game in the eighth inning. Roach gave up two runs on three hits, with a big fly off the bat of Max Muncy accounting for both runs.
Blake Parker picked up the spring save by retiring three of the four batters he faced in the ninth.
Tommy La Stella was very good in the field. La Stella made several difficult plays at third base look routine and really showed the improvement he’s made in a short time at the hot corner.
Kris Bryant was the Cubs’ DH on Friday night. Bryant went 0-for-4 back in his hometown and hit the ball rather hard but had nothing to show for it at the end of the night.
And the Cubs continued to struggle against switch-pitcher Pat Venditte. Venditte retired all six batters he faced in two innings of work.
The Cubs played a good game Friday night and started the two-game series at Cashman Field off on the right foot.
Saturday is another split squad day for the Chicago Cubs. Edwin Jackson gets the ball in Maryvale against the Brewers (3:05pm CDT) and Kyle Hendricks faces Jesse Hahn and the A’s in Las Vegas (2:05pm CDT).