Spring Training Game Twenty-Seven – Cubs 8, Angels 8
WP – None () LP – None () Save – None
Jason Heyward launched a 458-foot, three-run homer and Anthony Rizzo hit a solo shot in the five-run third inning. Kyle Hendricks lost it after serving up back-to-back homers to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols in the fourth and the Cubs and Angels played to an 8-8 tie Monday in Tempe.
The Angels took advantage of the Cubs defense in the first inning and took a 1-0 lead. Kyle Hendricks struck out Ji-Man Choi for what should have been the second out of the inning. The ball got away from Montero and his throw to first was too far off the mark for Rizzo to stay on the bag. Hendricks retired Mike Trout on a pop out to left.
Albert Pujols has made a career hitting off Cubs’ pitching and that continued Monday in the Cactus League. Pujols smoked a 3-2 pitch just to the left of straight away center that plated Choi with the game’s first run.
The Cubs offense cranked it up in the third inning and gave Hendricks a four-run lead.
Tommy La Stella (3-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) singled to center. Albert Almora Jr. (2-for-3 with a walk, a RBI and a run scored) singled to left. Hendricks failed to get a bunt down.
Ben Zobrist (1-for-3 with a double, a walk, a RBI and a run scored) doubled down the right field line. La Stella scored and tied the game at one. Heyward stepped in with runners on second and third and one out.
Jason Heyward (1-for-3 with a home run and three RBI) unloaded a titanic three-run homer to right … the ball traveled an estimated 458 feet.
After Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a triple) grounded out to short, Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a home run) capped the scoring in the third with a towering homer to right.
The Angels put a five-spot on the board in the bottom of the fourth. And really rattled Kyle Hendricks.
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols led off the fourth with back-to-back home runs. Hendricks lost his command and issued a four-pitch walk to Kole Calhoun. Andrelton Simmons doubled to center. Carlos Perez dribbled one back up the middle that La Stella kept in the infield. But Calhoun scored and made it a 5-4 game. With runners on the corners and one down, Geovany Soto struck out swinging. Perez took off for second. Montero made the throw, it was off-line and late. And Simmons scampered in from third to tie the game.
Johnny Giavotella hit a weak grounder toward third that should have ended the inning. Bryant fielded the ball cleanly but his throw was off the mark and to the outfield side of first. Perez scored all the way from second base and gave the Angels the lead. Yunel Escobar rolled into a 6-4-3 double play to finally end the inning.
Kyle Hendricks turned the game over to Clayton Richard with one on and two down in the sixth with the Cubs trailing 6-5. Hendricks was sharp in the first three innings but had trouble getting back on track after the fourth inning. Hendricks was charged with six runs, four earned, on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
Clayton Richard picked up the last out in the sixth. And Justin Grimm worked around a walk with a pair of strikeouts in the seventh.
The Cubs tied and took the lead in the eighth after Tim Federowicz singled with two outs, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Tommy La Stella. Chesny Young ran for La Stella and moved to third on wild pickoff throw to first from Javy Guerra. Albert Almora Jr. singled to right, Young scored and gave the Cubs the lead.
Neil Ramirez set down all three batters he faced in the eighth.
The Cubs tacked on a run in the ninth when Matt Murton hit his first home run of the spring.
Minor leaguer Starling Peralta surrendered two runs in the ninth after Munenori Kawasaki dropped a pop fly in shallow left. Matt Murton made a diving catch in right for the third out in the ninth. And the game ended in an 8-8 tie.
The Cubs played a sloppy game Monday. Three charged errors led to four unearned runs.
Miguel Montero’s defense and inability to control a running game is concerning with a week to go before the games count. The Angels ran as often as possible when Montero was behind the plate Monday. And his throws have been off-line more this spring than on target.
With Monday’s tie game, the Cubs are 8-17-2 in Cactus League play.
The Cubs return to Sloan Park for a Tuesday afternoon (3:05pm CDT) practice with the Athletics. Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Sonny Gray.