Spring Training Game Six – Cubs (ss) 2, Rockies 4
WP – Carlos Estevez (1-0) LP – Neil Ramirez (1-1) Save – Brock Huntzinger (1)
Jason Heyward and Anthony Rizzo hit solo shots off Jonathan Gray and gave the Cubs an early 2-0 lead. Justin Grimm walked two and allowed the Rockies to tie the game in the fifth. Neil Ramirez struggled in the sixth as the Rockies scored two more runs and beat the Cubs in Scottsdale on Monday afternoon.
It was a good day for the Cubs’ sluggers in the split squad losses. Addison Russell smacked a two-run homer in Mesa and both Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward went yard in Scottsdale. As was the case at Sloan Park, the Cubs’ bullpen could not hold a lead.
Jason Heyward (1-for-2 with a home run and a walk) gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead two batters into the game. Heyward pulled a homer off Jonathan Gray over the wall in right center. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a home run) launched a solo shot off Gray in the third over the wall in center field at Salt River Fields.
Dave Martinez’s offense could not string together any hits and managed just six on the afternoon to go along with six walks.
Miguel Montero (1-for-3 with a double), Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3 with a double), Tim Federowicz (1-for-2) and Gleyber Torres (1-for-1) managed the other four hits.
Aaron Brooks made his Cubs debut and tossed two scoreless innings. Brooks gave up a hit with a walk and two strikeouts on 29 pitches, 18 for strikes.
Stephen Fife had another successful spring outing. Fife completed two innings and allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out one. Fife made 29 pitches, 16 for strikes, in his two shutout frames.
Justin Grimm had trouble throwing strikes in his spring debut. Grimm gave up two runs on one hit with two walks and no strikeouts in his inning of work. Grimm made 22 pitches, 10 for strikes, and did not receive any help from his defense. Jorge Soler got the start in left field and lost a ball off the bat of D.J. LeMahieu in the sun that scored a run and put runners on second and third with one out. Carlos Gonzalez tied the game at two with a smash to first that went off Rizzo’s glove to Alcantara at second base.
Neil Ramirez replaced Grimm in the sixth inning and was hit rather hard. Ramirez allowed two runs on three hits without a walk or a strikeout on 25 pitches, 17 for strikes. Ramirez’s fastball was in the 91-93 mph range.
Edgar Olmos and Brandon Gomes pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth innings.
With the second spring loss at Salt River Fields in 24 hours, the Cubs slipped to 1-5 in the Cactus League.
The Cubs host the Dodgers on Tuesday afternoon (2:05pm CST). Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to make his first start, second appearance of the spring, against Clayton Kershaw.