Spring Training Game Eight – Cubs 3, Indians 5
WP – Corey Kluber (1-0) LP – Pierce Johnson (0-1) Save – None
Jake Arrieta pitched two scoreless innings in his spring debut and Jeimer Candelario hit a solo home run and John Andreoli smacked a two-run homer in the ninth but the Cubs managed just five hits and dropped their sixth straight Spring Training game.
Jake Arrieta was lights out Wednesday. Arrieta struck out four of the six batters he faced over two innings. Arrieta punched out two batters in each inning. The other two outs were a routine flyout to left and a grounder to second base.
Jake Arrieta made 31 pitches, 20 for strikes, in two innings. And his fastball was clocked in the 94-96 mph range. Arrieta turned the scoreless game over to Pierce Johnson in the third inning and the right hander had a rough outing.
Pierce Johnson gave up two runs in the third inning and completed just one inning of work on Wednesday.
Manny Parra was very good in the fifth inning with a quick 1-2-3 frame, the only three-up, three-down inning by a Cubs’ pitcher on the Spring Training roster not named Jake Arrieta on Wednesday.
Rex Brothers could not throw strikes again Wednesday and gave the Indians their fifth and final run of the game. Brothers needed 26 pitches to get three outs, 10 were strikes.
The Cubs offense managed only five hits and two were off the bat of Jeimer Candelario (2-for-3 with a home run). Candelario smacked a solo home run off Josh Tomlin in the fifth. Candelario’s other hit, a single in the second off Corey Kluber.
John Andreoli (1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI) made it a 5-3 game in the ninth inning with two-out, two-run homer to center.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3) and Munenori Kawasaki (1-for-1 with a walk and a stolen base) had the other two hits. And the Cubs walked six times with nine strikeouts.
With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 1-7 in Cactus League play this spring.
The wheels came off the pitching staff once Jake Arrieta’s day was done. The good news is that Pierce Johnson is pitching, but the results were not good on Wednesday. Johnson labored through a long third inning and was hit rather hard. Johnson surrendered two runs, one a homer by Giovanny Urshela the first batter he faced.
Johnson gave up two runs on three hits with two walks and a strikeout in the third inning. Johnson did not go back out for the fourth inning. The Indians sent eight to the plate in the third.
Edgar Olmos replaced Johnson for the fourth inning. Olmos served up a leadoff double to Robbie Grossman. A wild pitch with Urshela at the plate allowed Grossman to move up 90 feet. With the infield in, Olmos retired Urshela on a grounder to first base and Erik Gonzalez on a swinging bunt. Olmos could not escape the fourth without allowing a run. Michael Martinez singled to right and plated Grossman from third with the Indians’ third run.
Manny Parra completed an efficient 1-2-3 fifth inning.
C.J. Riefenhauser gave the Indians another run in the sixth inning. Yan Gomes smoked a homer to left leading off the inning and made it a 4-1 game. Riefenhauser did not fool anyone in the sixth. Lonnie Chisenhall flied out to deep left center. After a four-pitch walk to Grossman, Jason Heyward made a sliding catch to take away a hit from Urshela in right. Gonzalez singled to center before Martinez rolled out to Ian Happ at second base for the third out.
Minor leaguer Michael Jensen put zeros on the board in the seventh and eighth innings.
The Cubs have to be concerned about Rex Brothers at this point. Brothers had a horrible live BP before the exhibition games started. And both appearances in Cactus League games have not been good. Brothers could not find the strike zone Wednesday. Brothers allowed one run on one hit with two walks and no strikeouts in the ninth inning.
The Cubs hit the road on Thursday and make the trip to Peoria to take on the Mariners. Jon Lester is scheduled to face Wade Miley.