A's Late Rally Tops Cubs at Papago Park

Luis Baez stroked two run-scoring doubles (one to tie the game in th 6th and another to put the A's ahead in the 9th) and knocked-in three runs, helping to rally the Athletics to a 6-4 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Papago Park Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") in Phoenix, AZ.

Jesse Hodges smacked an RBI double and a solo HR, Albert Almora singled, doubled, and scored a run, and Paul Blackburn hurled three shutout innings for the Cubs in a losing cause.

The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning affair, so when the A's scored three runs in the bottom of the 9th to take a 6-4 lead, the Cubs still had a chance to mount a comeback. But they left the bases loaded in the top of the 10th.  

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):

1. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-3 (BB, F-9, K, BB, 1-3, CS)
2. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-3 (K, BB, BB, 4-3, 1B, R, SB)
3. Albert Almora, CF: 2-5 (4-3, F-9, 2B, 6-3, 1B, R)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-5 (4-1, 4-3, 1B, K, F-8, RBI)
5. Yasiel Balaguert, LF: 1-5 (F-9, P-3, 4-6 FC, F-8, 1B, RBI, CS)
6a. Reggie Golden, DH: 0-2 (K, BB, K, R)
6b. Rony Rodriguez, PH-DH: 0-2 (K, F-9)
7. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-3 (HBP, 2B, HR, 5-3, R, 2 RBI)
8. Erick Castillo, C: 2-4 (6-3 DP, P-4, 1B, 1B)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-4 (K, P-3, 6-4 FC, F-8)
1. Paul Blackburn: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 46 pitches (25 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
2. Erick Leal: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 56 pitches (37 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
3. Jasvir Rakkar: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 29 pitches (16 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 9 pitches (5 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
5. Matt Iannazzo: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 25 pitches (16 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO

3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely - eventually scored unearned run)

Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS


WEATHER: Partly cloudy & very breezy with temperatures in the 90's

NOTE: It wasn't a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game, but the Cubs did play an intrasquad game at Fitch Park yesterday (Thursday).

Kevin Encarnacion singled twice, walked, and clubbed a two-run HR, Jose Dore doubled and tripled and drove-in three runs, Francisco Sanchez singled twice, doubled, and scored two runs, Reggie Golden doubled twice (both off the LF fence) and scored two runs, and RHP Alexander Santana threw three innings of no hit ball (one walk & three strikeouts), but he did allow an unearned run thanks to a Danny Lockhart three-base throwing error.

Here is the box score from yesterday's intrasquad game:

1. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 3-4 (1B, 1B, BB, P-6, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, CS)
2. Danny Lockhart, 3B: 2-4 (K, F-7 SF, 1B+E1, P-5, 1B, 2 R, RBI)
3a. Justin Marra, C: 0-3 (K, 3-1, F-9)
3b. Neftali Rosario, C: 1-2 (K, 1B, R)
4a. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-2 (F-9, K, F-8 SF, RBI)
4b. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-2 (1B, F-7, R)
5. Jose Dore, RF: 2-5 (K, 3-1, K, 3B, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI)
6. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 2-5 (K, 3B, K, K, 1B+E8, R, RBI)
7. Erick Castillo, DH #1: 1-4 (6-3, HBP, P-6, 1B, 6-3, R, RBI)
8b. Shawon Dunston Jr, DH #2: 0-1 (K)
9. Frandy de la Rosa, 2B: 2-3 (1B, 1B, K, BB, R, RBI)
10. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 3-4 (1B, 2B, 1B, 5-4 FC, 2 R)

1a. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-3 (1-3, F-8, K)
1b. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI, PO)
2. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-4 (3B, E-5, 5-3, F-8, BB, R)
3a. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 0-3 (6-3, K, F-7)
3b. Roberto Caro, LF: 0-2 (4-3, 1-3)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-4 (F-8, FC, L-3, 6-3, RBI)
5. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-3 (L-8, BB, K, 1B)
6a. Lance Rymel, C: 0-3 (P-4, F-8, K)
6b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-1 (F-7)
7. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 1-4 (1B, K, K, E-4, R)
8a. Garrett Schlecht, DH: 0-1 (BB, 3-1)
8b. Reggie Golden, PH-DH: 2-2 (2B, 2B, 2 R)
9. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 0-3 (BB, F-7, E-6, 6-3, RBI, SB, CS)

1. Loiger Padron: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 31 pitches (17 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
2. Alexander Santana: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 38 pitches (25 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
3. Ethan Elias: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Juan Francisco: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 31 pitches (18 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO

1. Anthony Prieto: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 24 pitches (16 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
2. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 27 pitches (16 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Jorge Diaz: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
4. Orbandy Rodriguez: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 34 pitches (21 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
NOTE: Top of the 8th inning was stopped with two outs when O. Rodriguez reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
5. Luis Villalba: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 31 pitches (21 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO

1. 3B Danny Lockhart - E-5 (three-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 3rd base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. 2B Frandy de la Rosa - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)

1. P Jorge Diaz - E-1 (throwing error on bunt single allowed batter & two runners to advance one extra base each)
2. CF Rashad Crawford - E-8 (fielding error allowed batter to take extra base on single)

Neftali Rosario
: 0-1 CS

Lance Rymel: 1-1 CS

RF Yasiel Balaguert - threw out baserunner (Erick Castillo) 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on single




A short doc on a long ago MLB legend



Interesting tweet in the tweet box: z'Remember when Rizzo was striking out a lot? No K's in last 31 AB's..tied for 2nd longest active streak in majors"

Don't know if that includes last night, but it sure goes a long way to explaining his improved hitting. It's a curious thing, though, the difference between the way his season started and now. How does that happen?

Geiger-Soler put on a fireworks show in yesterday's Daytona Cubs doubleheader...


Over his past three games, Geiger is 10-for-13 with eight extra-base hits.


The 21-year-old outfielder was 7-for-10 with a homer and a double in the doubleheader, raising his OPS to .908, which ranks eighth in the Florida State League -- one spot ahead of Geiger.

"[Jorge] has shown me that his patience is above average for this level," Keller said. "He doesn't chase a whole lot of pitches out of the strike zone. He's always getting a good pitch to hit. We're just trying to continually reinforce to him that he needs to use the whole field."

I was listening to the "live" audio on mlb.com when the Cubs drafted Dustin Geiger back in 2010, and they announced him as an "outfielder" when they drafted him. So although he had played 3rd base in HS, the Cubs Area Scout projected Geiger as a corner outfielder. But to get him to sign (he had signed an NLI with Central Florida), the Cubs had to give him an overslot bonus and agree to let him play 3B (at least for a while).

So look for Geiger to be moved to a corner OF slot (probably LF, what with Soler holding down RF) sometime soon.

Brett Jackson...

"Some of the best advice I've gotten is, I was sitting with Ian Stewart, talking about hitting and I was feeling for my swing as you do early in the season," Jackson recalled. "He asked if I was comfortable at the plate and I said I'm not very comfortable right now. He's like, 'You need to be yourself at the plate and be comfortable and be the type of hitter [you] want to be.'"



Mets fans are louder than Cubs fans. A new low point.

they have an entire section of the bleachers today...kinda creepy.

m.garza debuts tuesday vs pitt

vanillawafers (with recently shaved mustache) to the pen

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the mlb.tv internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.