Cubs Play Long Ball with Themselves
Starlin Castro had three hits (two singles and a double) and scored three runs, and Jorge Soler, Nate Schierholtz, and Brian Bogusevic slugged solo home runs, as the White Squad defeated the Blue Squad 7-3 in a five-inning intrasquad game played this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
Nick Struck got the start for the White Squad and had an easy eight-pitch 1-2-3 top of the 1st inning (P-5, 6-3, K-swinging), before his teammates plated three in the bottom of the 1st against Chris Rusin to take a 3-0 lead.
Starlin Castro roped a one-out double into the LF gap, and after Anthony Rizzo walked, Alfonso Soriano drove-in Castro with a single that bounced off Javier Baez’s glove and into CF. Dioner Navarro singled to load the bases, and then Ian Stewart smacked a two-out opposite-field line-drive two-run double into the left-center alley to score Rizzo and Soriano, before Navarro was thrown-out (by a mile) trying to score from 1st base to end the inning.
Jorge Soler put the Blue Squad on the board in the top of 2nd, drilling a one-out solo HR off Nick Struck on a 2-2 pitch, blasting the ball over the left-field fence and high onto the berm. Junior Lake ripped a two-out triple off the CF Batter’s Eye (“Green Monster”), but was left-stranded when Brett Jackson grounded out 4-3. (B. Jax did not show any positive effects from his new swing today, rolling-over and grounding out weakly to 2nd base twice).
Javier Baez made an outstanding diving catch to rob David DeJesus of a hit with one-out in the bottom of the second, turning it into an inning ending DP as Darwin Barney was doubled-off 1st base.
The White Squad tacked-on two more runs off Cory Wade in the bottom of the third, as Castro and Rizzo led-off the inning with singles, and Castro scored on a Soriano 6-4-3 DP. Nate Schierholtz then hammered a two-out moon-shot solo HR off the RF foul pole to give the Whites a 5-1 lead.
The Blue Squad scored single runs in the 4th & 5th, cutting the White lead to 5-3.
Welington Castillo roped a lead-off double down the LF line in the 4th off Rob Whitenack, and scored after Brad Nelson and Jorge Soler walked to load the bases (Whitenack lost the strike zone in his second inning of work) and Javier Baez grounded into an RBI 6-4 FC (outstanding play by Castro going into the hole, backhanding the ball, and then without missing a beat, throwing a strike to Darwin Barney to force Soler at 2nd base on a "bang-bang" play). Baez was then doubled-off 1st base to kill the rally as Starlin Castro caught a Junior Lake line drive and fired the ball to 1st.
Brian Bogusevic cracked a one-out solo HR over the fence in right-center off Rafael Dolis in the top of the 5th to complete the Blue scoring.
The White Squad scored their final two runs of the game off Trey McNutt in the bottom of the 5th. David DeJesus and Starlin Castro singled and Anthony Rizzo walked to load the bases with no outs. DeJesus scored on a Soriano 6-3 RBI ground out (double-clutch by Baez or it would have been an easy 6-4-3 DP), and Castro scored on a line-drive sacrifice fly (diving catch by Jorge Soler in left).
Here is the unofficial box score from today‘s game:
BLUE SQUAD LINEUP:
1. Luis Valbuena, 2B: 0-3 (P-5, F-7, F-7)
2. Dave Sappelt, CF: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, 6-3)
3. Welington Castillo, C: 1-2 (K, 2B, R)
4. Brad Nelson, 1B: 0-1 (L-7, BB)
5. Jorge Soler, LF: 1-1 (HR, BB, R, RBI)
6. Javier Baez, SS: 0-2 (K, 6-4 FC, RBI)
7. Junior Lake, 3B: 1-2 (3B, L-6 DP)
8. Brett Jackson, RF: 0-2 (4-3, 4-3)
9. Brian Bogusevic, DH: 1-2 (4-3, HR, R, RBI)
WHITE SQUAD LINEUP:
1. David DeJesus, CF: 1-3 (3-1, L-6 DP, 1B, R)
2. Starlin Castro, SS: 3-3 (2B, 1B, 1B, 3 R)
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B: 1-1 (BB, 1B, BB, R)
4. Alfonso Soriano, LF: 1-3 (1B, 6-4-3 DP, 6-3, R, 2 RBI)
5. Nate Schierholtz, RF: 1-2 (P-6, HR, L-7 SF, R, 2 RBI)
6. Dioner Navarro, C: 1-3 (1B, F-7, 4-3)
7a. Ian Stewart, 3B: 1-1 (2B, 2 RBI)
7b. Christian Villanueva, 3B: 0-1 (F-7)
8. Darwin Barney, 2B: 0-1 (E2-CI, K)
9. Scott Hairston, DH: 0-2 (K, P-5)
BLUE SQUAD PITCHERS
1. Chris Rusin: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 35 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Cory Wade: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
3. Trey McNutt: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 26 pitches (18 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
WHITE SQUAD PITCHERS
1. Nick Struck: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 36 pitches (19 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. Rob Whitenack: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 32 pitches (15 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
3. Rafael Dolis: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 15 pitches (8 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
BLUE SQUAD ERRORS: (1)
Welington Castillo - E-2 - Catcher’s Interference (CI) allowed batter to reach base safely
WHITE SQUAD ERRORS: NONE
WEATHER: Partly cloudy & cool with temperatures in the 50’s