Spring Training Game Thirty – Cubs 15, Rangers 10
WP – Francisley Bueno (1-1) LP – Kyuji Fujikawa (0-1, BS 1) Save – None
The Cubs were down 7-1 as late as the fifth inning and never quit Tuesday afternoon. The Cubs scored four runs in the fifth and two more in the seventh before the minor leaguers up for the day turned it on. The young Cubs scored eight runs, five off former Cubs’ reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, in the ninth and walked out of Surprise with a come from behind victory over the Rangers.
Matt Szczur (2-for-2 with a home run and two RBI) drove in the Cubs first two runs of the game. Szczur continues to make the case to break camp on the active roster.
Mike Olt (1-for-2 with a double and a run scored) doubled to left with one out in the second. Szczur followed with a single to right. Olt scored and the Cubs took a 1-0 lead.
The Cubs did not score another run against Derek Holland until the fifth while the Rangers scored seven times and took a commanding 7-1 lead.
Matt Szczur led off the fifth with a towering homer to left. Szczur’s fifth longball of the spring cut the Rangers’ lead to 7-2. Junior Lake (1-for-3 with a run scored) hit for Andres Santiago and singled. Arismendy Alcantara (0-for-2 with a run scored) reached on an error by Rangers’ second baseman Thomas Field. Dexter Fowler (1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored) walked and loaded the bases for Soler.
Jorge Soler (1-for-3 with two RBI) ripped a single into center. Lake and Alcantara scored, 7-4 Rangers.
With runners on the corners and no outs, Anthony Rizzo (0-for-2 with a RBI) grounded out to second. Fowler scored and cut the Rangers lead to 7-5. But Starlin Castro (0-for-3) lined out to left and Welington Castillo (0-for-3) lined out to short to end the inning.
Eric Jokisch had a rough day and the Cubs rather shaky defense didn’t help him. Jokisch lasted just 3 1/3 innings and was hit rather hard. Jokisch struggled with his command and appeared to have an inconsistent release point. Jokisch’s final appearance in the Cactus League was rather reminiscent of his first, also against the Rangers.
Eric Jokisch was charged with seven runs on 10 hits with a walk and two strikeouts. And not a single run scored via the longball. Jokisch threw 66 pitches, 39 for strikes.
Minor Leaguer Andres Santiago recorded the last two outs in the fourth.
Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon combined on an impressive and scoreless fifth inning. Strop struck out a batter and walked the other batter he faced. Rondon made quick work of Thomas Field and Trevor Adams to end the inning.
Drake Britton had another rough outing. Britton simply could not throw quality strikes. Britton allowed two runs on three hits with a strikeout in one inning of work. Britton threw 12 pitches, eight for strikes.
Blake Parker, Francisley Bueno and Zach Cates pitched the last three innings. Bueno was charged with a run on two hits in 1 1/3 innings.
When Joe Maddon emptied his bench and used a majority of the minor leaguers up for the day from the sixth inning on, the Cubs were down 9-5. The Cubs scored two runs in the seventh on a Wes Darvill (1-for-2 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored) two run homer.
Former Cubs reliever Kyuji Fujikawa picked up the final out in the eighth and stayed in for the ninth. And the minor leaguers teed off on him.
The Cubs scored five runs, four earned, on three hits and a walk against Fujikawa while he was not able to record a single out.
Willson Contreras (1-for-2 with a triple, two RBI and a run scored) tripled in two runs. Billy McKinney (1-for-2 with a RBI and a run scored) added a run scoring single. LHP Francisley Bueno hit a soft grounder up the first base line and picked up a RBI. Mark Zagunis (SF RBI and a run scored) plated Jonathan Herrera (1-for-2 with a run scored and a walk) with a sac fly and Jonathan Mota singled in Tommy La Stella (1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored) with the Cubs’ 15th and final run of the game.
The Cubs host the Brewers for the last Cactus League game of the spring. Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Kyle Lohse.