Spring Training Game Eight – Cubs 4, Dodgers 3
WP – Drake Britton (1-0) LP – Chris Anderson (1-1) Save – Zac Rosscup (1)
The Cubs took a 3-0 lead into the fourth inning but the Dodgers put a three-spot on the board in the fourth inning against Brian Schlitter. The exhibition game remained tied at three until the eighth. Tommy La Stella worked a leadoff walk, moved to third on a hit and run single by Chris Valaika and scored the winning run on a sac fly off the bat of Adron Chambers as the Cubs finally posted a win in the Cactus League.
Jon Lester was very good in his second Cactus League appearance. Lester retired the side in order in the first on six pitches, all strikes, and surrendered a hit in the second. After inducing an inning ending 6-4-3 double play, Lester faced the minimum through two innings.
The Dodgers collected two, two-out hits off Lester in the third. But could not cash in and Lester needed only 37 pitches, 27 for strikes, to complete three frames.
Jon Lester’s line on Wednesday: 0R, 3H, 0BB, 2K in 3 IP.
Over his first two Spring Training games, Jon Lester has tossed five shutout innings and faced two over the minimum.
The Cubs jumped on Zack Greinke in the second inning and put two runs on the board against the Dodgers’ right hander. Chris Coghlan (0-for-1 with a walk, a run scored and a sac fly RBI) walked with one out and moved to second on a Mike Olt (2-for-3 with a run scored) single to center on a 1-2 pitch. Ryan Sweeney (1-for-2 with a walk) walked to load the bases. Arismendy Alcantara (0-for-3 with seven men left on base) popped the first pitch to Howie Kendrick at second base. With the bases loaded and two down, Mike Baxter (1-for-3 with two RBI) singled to right center and plated Coghlan and Olt.
The Cubs tacked on in the third against lefty Julio Urias. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3) singled to right center, Starlin Castro (1-for-3) singled to left and Miguel Montero (1-for-3) singled to left to load the bases. Chris Coghlan lifted a 2-2 pitch out to right, Rizzo scored and the Cubs took a 3-0 lead.
Brian Schlitter had another rough outing. Schlitter gave up all three Dodgers’ runs in the fourth inning on four hits. Schlitter was squared up and didn’t appear to have much again this spring.
Phil Coke kept the game tied at three. Coke made his Cubs’ debut in the fifth inning and struck out Jimmy Rollins swinging for the first out. After issuing a walk to Chris Heisey, Coke retired Yasiel Puig on a liner to left and Yasmani Grandal on a grounder to shortstop.
Outside of Schlitter, the Cubs pen of Coke, Gonzalez Germen, Francisley Bueno, Drake Britton and Zac Rosscup had a good day. The Dodgers managed only one hit and two walks over the last five innings of the game. Britton walked the two batters as his command was shaky at best but his defense bailed him out with a 5-3 double play to end the inning.
Tommy La Stella led off the eighth with a walk and moved to third when Joe Maddon called a hit and run with Chris Valaika at the plate. Valaika singled to center in his only plate appearance. Adron Chambers delivered the game winner when he flied out to center and plated La Stella with the Cubs fourth and final run of the game.
Anthony Rizzo picked up one hit in Wednesday’s game. But he should have had at least a double in the fourth. Yasiel Puig made an outstanding running, leaping catch in right center as he crashed against the wall.
The Cubs played a much better game Wednesday, apparently Joe Maddon’s pre-game pep talk worked.
The Cubs make the short trip to Tempe on Thursday afternoon to take on the Los Angeles Angels. Jason Hammel is scheduled to face left Sean Newcomb.