Spring Training Game Nineteen – Cubs 5, Indians 10
WP – Corey Kluber (3-0) LP – Justin Grimm (0-1, BS 2) Save – None
The Cubs took an early lead against Corey Kluber in front of a record crowd of 11,616 in Goodyear on a RBI single from Kris Bryant. Pierce Johnson pitched four innings of scoreless ball before the bullpen could not find the strike zone. The Indians scored nine runs off Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez and handed the Cubs a spring loss late Saturday night.
The Cubs had six hits and a walk against Corey Kluber and became the first team to score a run off him in the Cactus League. The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs in the third but managed only one run.
Pierce Johnson (1-for-1 with a run scored) led off with a single to center. Ben Zobrist (1-for-3) singled to left and Addison Russell (2-for-3) singled to right center. With the bags loaded, Kyle Schwarber (0-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base) struck out.
Kris Bryant (2-for-3 with a double and a RBI) ripped a single to left. Johnson scored, but Michael Brantley threw out Zobrist at the plate. Jorge Soler (0-for-3) flied out to right to end the inning.
Jason Vosler (1-for-1 with a home run and three RBI) smacked a three-run homer in the eighth. And the Cubs’ fifth run scored on a throwing error by the Indians’ third baseman, Ronny Rodriguez in the ninth inning.
Matt Murton (1-for-2 with a run scored) collected a hit and scored a run. Munenori Kawasaki (1-for-3 with a run scored) had a good night at the plate, but made a poor decision in the field that helped prolong the five-run sixth inning.
The Cubs scored five runs on 10 hits with four walks and struck out 12 times.
Pierce Johnson had by far his best outing in the Cactus League. Johnson completed four scoreless innings and actually outpitched Corey Kluber. Johnson also singled off Kluber and scored the Cubs run in the third inning.
Johnson threw strikes, pitched ahead in the count and the defense made plays behind him. Johnson struck out two, allowed three hits and did not walk a batter. Johnson faced 15 batters.
The Cubs bullpen had a really bad night. Justin Grimm, Fernando Cruz, Neil Ramirez, Jeffry Antigua, Carl Edwards Jr. and Felix Pena walked at least one batter and over the final four innings issued seven free passes.
Justin Grimm was touched up for four runs on two hits and two walks … both walks scored.
Neil Ramirez pitched better than his final line. A pair of infield singles and a walk loaded the bases and he could not clean up his mess before Maddon pulled him from the game. Ramirez did not record an out and was charged with five runs on three hits and a walk.
Carl Edwards Jr. struck out two and walked a batter in his scoreless inning. Felix Pena served up a solo home run in the eighth.
Cubs’ pitching allowed 10 runs on 12 hits with seven walks and eight strikeouts. Grimm and Ramirez were charged with nine of the 10 runs.
Javier Baez (0-for-2 with a walk) returned to the starting lineup Saturday night. Baez jammed his left thumb diving headfirst into the first base bag in Wednesday’s game. Baez was in center field and made two plays in the first two innings.
Reports from Goodyear indicated he made a good read on a ball off the bat of Michael Brantley for the second out in the first inning. Will Venable tried to stretch a single into a double in the second inning. Baez threw him out at second to end the inning.
Baez saved a run in the fourth inning. Baez tracked down a deep drive to straightaway center off the bat of Yan Gomes with Mike Napoli on base to end the inning.
With Saturday night’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 5-13-1 in the Cactus League.
The Cubs return to Sloan Park on Sunday afternoon (3:05pm CDT). Jon Lester is scheduled to take on Ian Kennedy and the Kansas City Royals.