Cubs fans turned out in droves to American Family Fields of Phoenix, witnessing a tough loss and an impressive range of players. The Cubs came out strong against Milwaukee starter Corbin Burnes, scoring five runs in the first three innings.
Willson Contreras doubled home David Bote in the 1st and Ben Gamel lost a Cristhian Adames hit in the sun for a three-run triple in the 3rd. Milwaukee struck back quickly in the bottom of the 3rd, when Lorenzo Cain scored on a Yasmani Grandal double.
Starter Kyle Hendricks left the game after 58 pitches and one run allowed, but Brewers made the most of the Cubs bullpen. Dakota Mekkes was tagged for a home run that forced home to runners attributed to Hendricks, Brian Duensing for two, and Peyton Henry got an RBI double against Brandon Kintzler while Cubs bats were mostly quiet after the 3rd inning. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Home runs. The Brewers scored via small ball too, but the three-run shot by Orlando Arcia and back-to-back homers by Gamel and Tyler Saladino made the difference. Leaving six runners on base didn’t help the Cubs’ offensive efforts.
Mekkes inherited two runners when he came on in the bottom of the 4th and gave up the three-run home run to Arcia in short order.
Stats That Matter
- Hendricks faced 14 batters, giving up three runs on five hits, with one walk and four strikeouts.
- Dillon Maples walked his first two batters of the spring before getting a K to end the 8th.
- Contreras was caught stealing third in the 1st inning, but picked Corey Spangenberg off the same spot in the bottom of the 2nd.
Hendricks had good movement but did leave some pitches hanging in the zone, and Mekkes was throwing a lot outside. The Cubs seemed aggressive in their baserunning, including a hit-and-run.
The Cubs are off Monday before hosting Cincinnati in a Tuesday night game that doesn’t start until 9:05pm CT. You can hear the game on MLB.com.