Spring Training Game Twenty-Nine – Cubs 10, Rockies (ss) 0
WP – Jon Lester (2-0) LP – David Hale (0-1) Save – None
Jon Lester pitched five scoreless innings and struck out 10, six looking, and hit a two-run homer in the seven-run fourth inning as the Cubs picked up a win in the Cactus League finale at Sloan Park on Wednesday afternoon.
The Cubs broke out the bats against a Rockies’ split squad. But Wednesday was all about Jon Lester in his final tune-up of the spring.
Lester put together his best start in Arizona. Lester allowed just one hit and walked one. Lester faced three over the minimum in five innings. Lester pitched ahead in the count his entire outing. Lester struck out 10 of the 18 batters he faced Wednesday, six were looking and he punched out the side in both the third and fourth innings. Lester had pinpoint command.
Jon Lester (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) got into the scoring Wednesday. Lester and David Ross (3-for-3 with three doubles, four RBI and a run scored) drove in six of the 10 runs scored.
As Jon Lester kept the Rockies off balance, the Cubs took advantage of a rare D.J. LeMahieu error in the second inning.
Addison Russell (1-for-2 with a double, a walk and two runs scored) doubled with two down in the second. Matt Szczur (0-for-2 with a walk, a RBI and a run scored) reached on a fielding error by LeMahieu. The ball ate up LeMahieu and David Ross stepped in with runners on the corners and two down.
David Ross smacked his first double of the day down the left field line. Russell scored easily and Szczur made the trip around the bases for the second run. Lester rolled out to short for the third out.
The Cubs added on in the third. Kris Bryant (2-for-4 with a double and two run scored) doubled with one out. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) walked. Jorge Soler (2-for-4 with two RBI) blooped a single into left. Bryant scored, 3-0 Cubs. Tommy La Stella (2-for-4 with a run scored) lined a single to right and loaded the bases with one out. Russell was caught looking. Walt Weiss went to his pen and replaced David Hale with Johendi Jiminian. Szczur ended the inning with a fly to right.
David Ross started the seven-run fourth inning with a double to right. A wild pitch allowed Ross to lumber to third.
Jon Lester shocked Cubs’ fans from coast-to-coast. Lester drove his first home run out to left. And the opposite field, two-run homer gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead.
Kyle Schwarber (1-for-4 with a home run) followed Lester with a home run to left. Lester and Schwarber’s back-to-back jacks put the Cubs a touchdown in front of the Rockies.
Bryant and Rizzo restarted the inning with back-to-back singles. With runners on the corners, Soler put the ball in play. Soler rolled out to second base, Bryant scored the extra point … 7-0 Cubs. Tommy La Stella singled and Russell walked to load the bases. Walt Weiss made another pitching change and summoned Jason Gurka from the pen.
Matt Szczur walked and forced in Rizzo. David Ross doubled to right, La Stella and Russell scored … 10-0 Cubs.
After hitting back-to-back homers earlier in the inning, Lester and Schwarber struck out swinging to end the inning.
Joe Maddon emptied his bench in the sixth inning. And Adam Warren replaced Lester for the sixth.
Adam Warren pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Lester. Warren gave up two hits and no walks with one strikeout.
Clayton Richard went the rest of the way. Richard worked out of a couple jams in the eighth and ninth innings. Richard surrendered two hits and walked a batter with a strikeout in his two innings of work.
The Cubs scored 10 runs on 17 hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts … Cubs’ pitching allowed five hits with two walks and struck out 12 batters in the 2016 Cactus League finale.
With Wednesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 10-17-2 in Spring Training.
Spring Training for the Cubs is over in Arizona. The Cubs have three games left in the exhibition season, the first of two in Las Vegas is on Thursday night.
The Cubs and Mets square off in Las Vegas on Thursday night (7:05pm CDT) at Cashman Field. Ryan Williams is scheduled to face Paul Sewald.