Spring Training Game Thirteen – Cubs (ss) 10, Brewers 5
WP – Edwin Jackson (1-1) LP – Jimmy Nelson (0-1) Save – None
The Cubs scored eight runs in the first three innings, seven in third, and Edwin Jackson did not allow the Brewers to cross the plate in his three innings of work as the Cubs topped Milwaukee on Saturday afternoon.
The Cubs made Brewers’ starter Jimmy Nelson work and knocked him out of the game with one out in the third inning. After an Aramis Ramirez throwing error in the second inning allowed the Cubs to get on the board, the Cubs put the exhibition game out of reach with a seven-run third inning.
Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a RBI, a runs scored and a walk) drove in Matt Szczur (2-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two runs scored) with a single to center. Ron Roenicke went to his pen after Jimmy Nelson reached his pitch limit (54 pitches) with one down and the bases loaded.
Mike Olt (1-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored) singled to center off reliever Mike Strong and plated Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-4 with a run scored) and Starlin Castro. Mike Baxter (0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored) walked to reload the bases.
Welington Castillo (2-for-4 with a double, three RBI and a run scored) doubled in Ryan Sweeney (1-for-4 with two runs scored) and Mike Olt. And Adron Chambers (2-for-4 with a double and two RBI) capped the scoring in the third with a single to center that allowed Baxter to score.
The Cubs tacked on a single run in the fifth on Matt Szczur’s third home run of the spring and built a 9-1 lead. After the Brewers cut the Cubs lead to 9-5 in the sixth, Adron Chambers doubled in the seventh and pinch runner Billy McKinney scored on a Rafael Lopez single to left.
Matt Szczur, Welington Castillo, Mike Olt and Adron Chambers drove in eight of the 10 runs on Saturday afternoon. And Starlin Castro collected his first run scoring hit of the spring.
The Cubs scored 10 runs on 12 hits with five walks and eight strikeouts.
Edwin Jackson completed the first three innings with mixed results. Jackson’s final line looks better than he pitched. But he was able to keep a Brewers’ lineup without Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, Jean Segura and Scooter Gennett off the scoreboard.
Jackson gave up one hit with two walks and two strikeouts in three innings. Jackson struggled with his command and the Brewers worked deep counts throughout his outing.
Pedro Strop allowed one run, an Adam Lind solo blast, on two hits with no walks and two strikeouts. And the Cubs’ closer didn’t fare much better.
Hector Rondon was charged with one unearned run on two hits without a walk or a strikeout in an inning of work. Outside of Gonzalez Germen, the Cubs pen allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits over the last six innings of the game. German had issues throwing strikes and was charged with three runs, all earned, on three hits and two walks but no strikeouts in a third of an inning.
Minor Leaguer P.J. Francescon picked up the final two outs in the sixth, pitched a scoreless seventh and Anthony Carter kept the Brewers from cutting into the Cubs lead. Carter completed two innings without allowing a run while walking one and striking out a batter.
Joe Maddon’s team took advantage of Brewers’ miscues early, put a crooked number on the board in the third and tacked on late. And while the bullpen struggled at times, the relievers the Cubs are depending on at the beginning of the season got their work in and appeared to hit their spots.
With Saturday’s sweep of the two games, the Cubs take a three-game spring winning streak back to Mesa.
The Cubs return to Sloan Park on Sunday for a meeting with the Reds. Just one game Sunday as Travis Wood is scheduled to face Johnny Cueto. Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer have the call on the radio side (WBBM) while Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies will be calling the action on the TV side (WGN-TV9).