Spring Training Game Sixteen – Cubs 4, Royals 3
WP – Jason Hammel (1-1) LP – Danny Duffy (0-1) Save – Stephen Perakslis (1)
Jason Hammel pitched four innings of shutout ball. Starlin Castro worked a walk with the bases loaded that forced in Dexter Fowler with the first run of the game. Anthony Rizzo collected two hits, drove in a run with a two-out knock and three of the four runs scored two outs as the Cubs beat the Royals on Tuesday afternoon.
Jason Hammel clearly put together his best outing of the spring. Hammel pounded the strike zone after he found a good rhythm throwing to Miguel Montero. Hammel gave up two-out hits in the first and second inning before retiring the last seven batters he faced on the afternoon. Hammel credited Maddon’s shifts for his success, but a majority of the Royals every day lineup made very little solid contact against Hammel in four innings.
Jason Hammel indicated before the game he needed a good start and he got one. Hammel’s line on Tuesday: 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts in 4 innings.
Two of the lefty relievers competing for a spot in the Cubs’ pen tossed scoreless innings. Phil Coke faced four batters in the fifth and gave up a hit but no walks with a strikeout. Zac Rosscup walked one batter in his inning of work.
The Royals scored their three runs off Jorge De Leon, Anthony Carter and Francisley Bueno. De Leon was hit rather hard and if not for Matt Szczur making a catch at the wall in left his line would have looked a lot worse. De Leon allowed one run on two hits in one inning and Carter served up a solo homer to Lane Adams in the eighth. Bueno gave the Royals an opportunity to tie the game in the ninth after his lazy throw to first base allowed the game to continue. Joe Maddon had to call on minor leaguer Stephen Perakslis to record the final out.
Dexter Fowler (0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored) worked another two out walk that led to a run. Fowler walked with two down in the third and moved to third on a Chris Denorfia (2-for-3 with a walk) single. After Danny Duffy plunked Anthony Rizzo (2-for-2 with a RBI and a HBP) to load the bases, Starlin Castro (0-for-2 with a walk and a RBI) worked a walk and forced Fowler in from third.
The Cubs added a run in the fifth after Matt Szczur (1-for-2 with a run scored and a stolen base) reached on a bunt single off Wade Davis to start the inning. Szczur swiped second on the first pitch to Denorfia and moved to third when he tapped back to the mound. Anthony Rizzo singled to center and plated Szczur.
Miguel Montero (1-for-3 with a double) led off the sixth with a hustle double off Brandon Finnegan. Billy McKinney ran for Montero and scored on a Junior Lake (1-for-3 with a RBI) single to right center. And the Cubs final run of the day scored in the seventh after Chris Denorfia worked a two-out walk. Minor leaguer John Andreoli ran for Denorfia and scored on a Jonathan Herrera (1-for-1 with a double and a RBI) double to center.
The Cubs collected three, two-out RBI (Castro, Rizzo and Herrera) Tuesday afternoon and scored four runs on eight hits with four walks. And the patience at the plate led to the Cubs fifth spring win in six games dating back to Friday night.
The Cubs hit the road Wednesday and make the trip to Glendale to face the Dodgers. Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Brandon McCarthy.