Spring Training Game Twenty-Eight – Cubs 7, Royals 0
WP – Edwin Jackson (2-1) LP – Edinson Volquez (1-3) Save – None
Edwin Jackson pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings. Miguel Montero, Junior Lake and Matt Szczur homered. The Cubs scored five runs in their last two at bats Sunday afternoon off Wade Davis and Greg Holland and beat the Royals in Surprise.
Edwin Jackson put together his best outing of the spring. Jackson was very sharp and did not allow three errors, one of which he committed, to derail him. Jackson threw strikes and mixed speeds extremely well. Jackson retired the side in order in the first inning on 10 pitches, seven for strikes, and pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning.
Joe Maddon left Jackson into start the fifth. After recording the first two outs, Maddon went to his pen and replaced Jackson with lefty reliever Phil Coke.
Edwin Jackson gave up just one hit and one walk over 4 2/3 innings with three strikeouts. Jackson threw 62 pitches, 43 for strikes. And Javier Baez (0-for-4 with three strikeouts) helped Jackson keep the shutout intact in the third when he threw out back-to-back runners at the plate to end the inning.
The Cubs pen picked up where Jackson left off and combined on the team’s first shutout of the spring.
Miguel Montero (2-for-4 with a home run and a walk) caught the entire game and had a good day at the plate. Montero reached base three times and his second longball of the spring in the first inning gave the Cubs all the runs they would need Sunday.
It was a one-run game until the sixth inning. Tommy La Stella (3-for-3 with a run scored) singled to right and moved up ninety feet on an Addison Russell (1-for-3) single to center. Montero walked to load the bases. Kris Bryant (0-for-3 with two strikeouts) was caught looking for the first out.
Ryan Sweeney (0-for-2 with a sac fly RBI) picked up Bryant, somewhat, with a sac fly to right. La Stella tagged and scored, 2-0 Cubs.
Junior Lake (1-for-2 with a home run) made it 3-0 Cubs in the eighth inning. Lake smoked a 2-1 pitch from Wade Davis over the center field wall.
And the minor leaguers up for the day broke the game open in the ninth.
Rubi Silva singled to center with one out against Greg Holland and motored to third on an infield single by Mike Olt (1-for-2 with a run scored).
Stephen Bruno (1-for-1 with a double, two RBI and a run scored) hit for Blake Parker and launched a 3-2 pitch from Holland to deep center. The ball one-hopped the wall, Silva and Olt scored, 5-0 Cubs.
Matt Szczur (1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI) pulled a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left center. Szczur’s fourth homer of the spring gave the Cubs a 7-0 lead.
The Cubs scored seven runs, five runs in their final two at bats, on 12 hits and one walk with 13 strikeouts.
Javier Baez went hitless Sunday and struck out three times. But his defense prevented at least two runs.
In the third inning with the infield in, a runner on third and one out, Baez fielded an Alex Gordon grounder cleanly and threw a strike to Montero at the plate to record the out. And it was not a close play, the speedy Jarrod Dyson didn’t slide.
Kendrys Morales followed with a double to right. The ball sailed over Ryan Sweeney’s head. Sweeney made a strong, accurate throw to Baez, who wheeled and threw another strike to Montero at the plate. Alex Gordon was out by a mile, and like Dyson didn’t even slide.
The Cubs return home Monday to host the San Francisco Giants. Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to face Tim Hudson.