The Royals came to Sloan Park Wednesday to face Jose Quintana and several relievers the Cubs plan to use during the season. The Chicago pitching kept Kansas City at bay throughout the game, including another sterling performance from a player long considered a question mark.
Journeyman Johnny Field got the Cubs on the board with an RBI single in the 2nd inning and the Royals tied the score in the 4th inning on a Bubba Starling single. A bases-loaded walk to Daniel Descalso in the bottom of the 4th put the home team back ahead. Victor Caratini hit a solo homer in the 7th and one more run made it a 4-1 victory.
Pedro Strop, Steve Cishek, and Brad Brach all made their spring debuts Wednesday. Strop was charged a run, but Mike Zagurski allowed it to score. Cishek and Brach pitched clean innings and Tyler Chatwood was walk-free for three to close the game. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
Although these games don’t count, the Cubs have to be pleased with how sharp their starters have looked this spring. Quintana hasn’t given up a run in his two appearances.
Caratini’s homer was a good for the Cubs, who appear determined to have him back up Willson Contreras in 2019. Caratini being more effective hitter will allow Joe Maddon to rest Contreras more frequently.
Stats That Matter
- Brach, who had his contract restructured by the Cubs after being diagnosed with mono during his physical, gave up a hit and struck out a batter.
- Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo each had a base hit.
- Chatwood pitched three scoreless innings to finish the game and has now walked only one batter in eight total innings.
The Cubs are starting to get their veteran bullpen pieces into the fold, another sign the regular season is right around the corner.
The Rockies head to Sloan Park to face the Cubs Thursday at 2:05pm CT. Opening-day starter Jon Lester is on the mound, with the audio feed is available on MLB.com.