Spring Training Game Twenty-Five – Cubs 2, Giants 5
WP – Jeff Samardzija (1-3) LP – John Lackey (0-2) Save – Hunter Strickland (1)
Addison Russell homered. Munenori Kawasaki doubled and scored the Cubs’ first run. John Lackey was charged with five runs in five-plus innings as the Cubs lost to the Giants on Saturday afternoon at Sloan Park.
The Cubs could not get the offense going against Jeff Samardzija. Kyle Schwarber (2-for-4) recorded the Cubs’ first hit off Samardzija in the fourth inning. The Cubs made life very easy for Samardzija on Saturday afternoon and he had his best outing of the spring.
Back-to-back two out doubles in the fifth broke up Samardzija’s shutout. Munenori Kawasaki (1-for-3 with a double and a run scored) doubled to left center. Jesus Guzman (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) doubled to left and made it a 3-1 game at the time.
Addison Russell (1-for-3 with a home run) went yard for the third time in the Cactus League in the sixth with a homer to left.
The Cubs actually outhit the Giants on Saturday afternoon (9-8) but managed only two runs.
John Lackey pitched better than his final line indicates. Lackey threw a lot of strikes and hit his spots. Lackey completed three 1-2-3 innings in the second, fourth and fifth. Lackey allowed three runs over the first five innings. Maddon left Lackey in for the sixth. Lackey allowed two singles and Maddon went his pen for Clayton Richard.
Richard could not get out of the inning without both inherited runners scoring. The book on Lackey was closed with him on the bench and it doesn’t tell the story of how he pitched in his final Cactus League start of the spring.
John Lackey was charged with five runs, all earned, on six hits (one home run) with no walks and six strikeouts in five-plus innings. Lackey made 73 pitches.
Clayton Richard replaced Lackey in the sixth with runners on the corners and no outs. Richard got the groundballs he needed, but the Cubs did not get the outs to keep the Giants off the board. Both Giants hits off Richard were of the infield variety. The second run scored on a sac fly to center. The Giants did not square up a single baseball from Richard but scored two times.
Pedro Strop completed a 1-2-3 seventh inning with three groundball outs.
Hector Rondon issued a two-out walk in the eighth, but that was all off the Cubs’ closer. Rondon struck out one of the four batters he faced.
Manny Parra was sharp again Saturday. Parra pitched around an error and struck out the side in a scoreless ninth.
Miguel Montero’s rough spring behind the plate continued Saturday. When the Giants reached base, Bruce Bochy put them in motion. The Giants stole two bases in the first inning, and both steals led to the first two runs of the game. In the sixth, Bochy called for a hit and run with Joe Panik at first and Matt Duffy at the plate. Panik advanced easily to third base and scored on an infield single. The Cubs must slow teams down on the bases this season. So far this spring it has been a continuation of last year.
Kyle Schwarber started in left field and finished Saturday’s game catching Hector Rondon and Manny Parra. Schwarber made a nice running catch as he hit the wall in left in the third inning.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 8-16-1 in the Cactus League.
The Cubs host the Mariners on their final Sunday of the spring in Mesa. Jason Hammel is scheduled to face James Paxton.