The Cubs played the A’s at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa on Wednesday in a classic spring training shootout. Jon Lester had a rough one, allowing a total of seven runs in 2.2 innings of work. Almost all the damage was done in the 3rd inning.
Mike Fiers didn’t fare much better against the Chicago lineup. Anthony Rizzo hit a solo homer in the 3rd inning and David Bote hit his own two-run homer in the 4th inning. Cristhian Adames and Johnny Field also hit bombs.
The Cubs eventually took the lead in the middle innings thanks to a couple hits from the scuffling Ian Happ. Brad Brach and Steve Cishek made appearances and temporarily held the lead, but it wouldn’t last. When all the smoke cleared from the offensive explosion, the A’s outscored the Cubs for a late 12-11 victory. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The minor league bullpen ended up on the wrong end of the seesaw affair and the A’s walked it off.
It was good to see Happ pick up two hits in four at-bats. This spring has been a slog for the switch-hitting outfielder/infielder, so any positives should help.
Stats That Matter
- Adames walked in addition to his home run. The former Rockies utility man is hitting over .400 this spring to make himself another factor in a crowded Cubs infield.
- Mark Zagunis picked up a couple more hits to continue his hot stretch.
- Brach allowed a run as he seeks to build up his arm strength after battling mono.
- Nico Hoerner pinch hit late and hit a double. Would you expect anything less from the kid?
Obviously Lester doesn’t like allowing seven runs in his start, but not really much cause for concern. He has had games like Wednesday’s during the season and shaken them off.
The Cubs host the Rangers at Sloan Park Thursday at 3:05pm CT. Yu Darvish goes against his old team, with the audio feed available via MLB.com.