Spring Training Game Twenty-Five – Cubs 6, White Sox 3
WP – Jason Hammel (2-1) LP – Jeff Samardzija (1-2) Save – None
The Cubs launched four home runs off Jeff Samardzija in front of a record breaking crowd at Sloan Park and Jason Hammel limited the White Sox to two runs over six innings as the Cubs snapped their four-game spring slide on Friday afternoon.
It was a home run kinda of day at Sloan Park. With 15,342 packed in the park, all nine runs Friday scored on six home runs, four by the Cubs and two off Cubs pitching.
Jorge Soler (1-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and a walk) put the Cubs on the board with a towering homer to left off Jeff Samardzija in the first inning with Dexter Fowler (1-for-3 with a run) along for the ride.
Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a home run) gave Jason Hammel a little breathing room in the fourth. Castro lined his first longball of the spring over the wall in left. The Sox cut the Cubs lead to 3-2 on a two-run shot by Tyler Flowers in the fifth. But the one-run lead didn’t last long.
Tommy La Stella (1-for-3 with a run scored) led off the fifth with a single to center (1-2 pitch). Dexter Fowler couldn’t check his swing on a 2-2 pitch for the first out. Chris Coghlan stepped in a picked up Fowler.
Chris Coghlan (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) went oppo on Samardzija and his two run homer to left gave the Cubs a 5-2 lead. After Soler popped out to first base, it was Rizzo’s turn.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a home run) obliterated a 1-1 pitch from Samardzija. The ball ended up in the back of the berm in right center … and the Cubs’ fourth home run of the day made it a 6-2 ballgame.
Mike Olt (1-for-1) and Jason Hammel (1-for-2) also collected hits.
The Cubs scored six runs on nine hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts, nine by Jeff Samardzija, on Friday afternoon.
Jason Hammel made one mistake in what was another good spring outing. Hammel hung a breaking ball to Tyler Flowers in the fifth and the Sox catcher did not miss the mistake. Flowers drove the ball out to straight away center and by the time it landed it was halfway up the batter’s eye.
Jason Hammel worked well with Miguel Montero again. Hammel appeared to find a rhythm and he threw strikes with good fastball command.
In his fifth Cactus League start, Jason Hammel allowed two runs on six hits without a walk and two strikeouts in six innings.
Pedro Strop was lights out in the seventh and made quick work (three up, three down) of the Sox. Phil Coke retired all three batters he faced with a serviceable eighth.
Hector Rondon served up a solo homer to Melky Cabrera in the ninth as he continued to struggle with his command. Jonathan Herrera started an excellent 6-4-3 double play that helped Rondon close out the game.
Less than 24 hours after turning four double plays, the Cubs defense turned three more double plays against the Sox on Friday afternoon.
The Cubs completed the spring sweep over the White Sox, the next time the crosstown rivals meet is the final weekend before the break at Wrigley Field (July 10-12). The six games between the Cubs and Sox conclude with three on the South Side in August (Aug. 14-16).
The Cubs will spend their last Saturday in the Cactus League in two different parks. Half of the roster will travel to Goodyear to take on the Reds. Relievers Gonzalez Germen and Aroldis Chapman are scheduled to start the game. And Jake Arrieta, along with the other half of the Cubs spring roster will host the Rockies at Sloan Park.