Anthony Rizzo has quietly put together a good spring at the plate. Tuesday he smacked his second longball of the spring.
With the Cubs leading 3-2 in the sixth and Ben Zobrist on first base, Anthony Rizzo took lefty Chris O’Grady deep. The ball sailed just to the right of straight away center and gave the Cubs a 5-2 lead.
After the Reds scored four times off Brandon Gomes in the bottom of the sixth to take a 6-5 lead, the Cubs scored four runs in seventh and eighth innings to beat the Reds 9-6 on Tuesday afternoon in Goodyear.
Tuesday marked the first time since March 7 that Rizzo hit a home run. Rizzo’s other homer of the spring came off the Rockies’ Jon Gray.
So far this spring, Rizzo is 8-for-27 in 12 games with three doubles, two home runs and four walks (.296/.400/.630). Rizzo has also been hit two times after leading baseball with 30 hit by pitches last year.
Joe Maddon is expected to begin play his starters on a regular basis with only eight games left in the Valley and 11 total games remaining on the exhibition schedule.
Anthony Rizzo has gone yard against a right-hander and a left-hander this spring. Rizzo has hit lefties extremely well the last two seasons.
Rizzo batted .300/.421/.507 with five doubles, 23 walks and eight home runs for a .928 OPS against southpaws two years ago. Last season, Rizzo had similar numbers. Rizzo hit .294/.409/.472 with 11 doubles, 22 walks and six home runs for a .881 OPS.
Rizzo was fourth in the voting for NL MVP last season after finishing the year with a .278/.387/.512 slash line. Rizzo hit 38 doubles, 31 home runs and finished with a .899 OPS while setting career highs in hits (163), runs scored (94), walks (78), triples (3), stolen bases (17), and RBI (101).
Anthony Rizzo will have to put up similar numbers this season in order to help his team reach its goals.