Spring Training Game Thirty-Two – Cubs 4, Angels 6
WP – Jose Molina (1-0) LP – Stephen Perakslis (0-1, BS 1) Save – Javy Guerra (2)
Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant hit home runs Sunday that accounted for all four runs and Kyle Hendricks allowed one earned run over five innings. The Angels scored four runs in the eighth inning off minor leaguers Starling Peralta and Stephen Perakslis and the Cubs ended the exhibition season with a loss to the Angels at The Big A.
The Cubs played a solid game Sunday in Anaheim for six innings in what was thankfully a rather uneventful end to Spring Training. Joe Maddon ran out what could end up being his Opening Day lineup. The Cubs regulars got their work in, two or three plate appearances, and turned the game over to the backups.
Addison Russell (1-for-2 with a home run) atoned for an error in the second inning that led to the Angels first run with a long homer to center with one out in the third.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-2 with a home run and a HBP) gave his team a short-lived lead with a solo shot to right in the fourth inning.
Matt Szczur (1-for-2 with a run scored) hit for Dexter Fowler (0-for-2) to start the sixth. With the game tied at two, Szczur dropped a perfect bunt toward third. Szczur was on board when Bryant stepped in with one out.
Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a home runs and two RBI) pulled a 1-0 pitch from lefty Lucas Luetge over the wall in left center. Bryant’s second home run of the spring gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead.
The Cubs scored four runs on six hits with a walk.
Kyle Hendricks pounded the strike zone for five innings Sunday. Hendricks pitched well against an Angels’ lineup without Mike Trout or Albert Pujols. Hendricks did not get the help he needed from his defense in the second inning. An Addison Russell throwing error led to the Angels’ first run of the game.
Geovany Soto hit a grounder to the hole at short that Russell fielded but he appeared to slip as he made the throw to first. Rizzo had no shot as the ball skipped past him and allowed Soto to take second base. Cliff Pennington bunted Soto to third. Todd Cunningham lifted Hendricks’ first pitch to center. Dexter Fowler got into perfect position to create a play at the plate. Fowler caught the ball but his throw was well up the third baseline. And Soto lumbered in with the game’s first run.
Hendricks completed a 1-2-3 third inning and took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth thanks to Rizzo’s solo blast in the top half of the inning.
C.J. Cron doubled with one out in the fourth. Soto reached on a single to left and put runners on the corners with one down. Cliff Pennington smoked a 0-2 pitch through the right side. Cron scored and tied the game at two. Hendricks got out of the first and second one-out jam by striking out Todd Cunningham and retiring Gregorio Petit on a fly out to right.
Hendricks completed five innings Sunday and was charged with two runs, one earned, on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Hendricks made 66 pitches, 47 for strikes.
Joe Maddon called on four minor league pitchers to finish out the game. The Angels broke through with a four-run eighth inning after an error by Munenori Kawasaki, that was charged to Kris Negron, opened the door.
The Angels tied the game and took the lead for good off Starling Peralta and Stephen Perakslis in the eighth.
Ji-Man Choi walked to start the eighth. Taylor Ward was the beneficiary of the botched play at second base. Ward hit a routine grounder to Kawasaki. His throw to Negron was high and wide. Negron could not touch second and Choi went to third on a throwing error. John Boehem flied out to left. John Andreoli made a strong throw to the plate, which kept Choi from scoring. But he missed the cut off man and Ward moved up 90 feet. Maddon went to his spring pen and replaced Peralta with Perakslis. Chad Hinshaw flied out to center. Szczur caught the ball and kept the runners from advancing.
David Fletcher singled to right. Choi and Ward scored … game tied at four. Roberto Baldoquin singled. Fletcher moved to third. Perakslis walked Cunningham to load the bases. Gregorio Petit ripped a single into right. Fletched and Baldoquin scored, 6-4 Angels. Shane Robinson flied out to right to end the inning.
With Sunday’s loss the Cubs ended Spring Training with an 11-19-2 record.
The Cubs open the 2016 season on Monday night (9:05pm CDT) against the Angels in Anaheim … Jake Arrieta versus Garrett Richards in the first game of the year.