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

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  • Yes! In a 12-way tie for first!

  • Shit.

    Blew my prediction! I had them signing Zimmerman and trading for another arm.

  • Damn wanted Zimmermann

  • Yeah, this market. Remember when Ted Lilly signed a 4/$40m with the Cubs? It was like "Well, I guess if you can throw a ball, that's what the 3 and 4 starters are all getting." I'm glad I'm not a GM. Of course, they're spending our money...

  • in this market that seems like a decent deal relative to the market.

    given that d.price will probably get 30m-ish a year, 22m for 29yo zimm doesn't seem bad. i wouldn't complain about him suiting up for the cubs. one less option gone...

  • Zimmermann 5/$110m with Tigers. Youch.

    And the updated predications page: http://bit.ly/1NWlEek

  • Cubs 3B Christian Villanueva (who is out of minor league options) is hitting 358/464/500 for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), and is leading the LMP in OBP, is second in BAvg and walks, is seventh in SLG, and is tied for 8th in HR. He also has struck out only 16 times in 175 PA. 

  • CTSteve, thanks for spelling Zimmermann correctly. We don't need another first baseman.

  • The media has linked Cueto and the Cubs approximately zero times this winter. I'm thinking there's just not a lot of interest there on the Cubs' part. It seems unlikely.

    If the Cubs miss on Price, Grienke, and Zimmerman, they will aim for a mid-rotation starter via free agency or trade. However, I think this scenario also significantly boosts the odds that they extend Arrieta.

  • The Tigers are going after Zimmermann and the Red Sox will be throwing money at Price. Bringing Cueto back to the NL with the Cubs is looking like a serious possibility. Thoughts?

  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe in the financial impact to the Red Sox for not signing Jon Lester early in the free agent process:

    It will be interesting to ultimately add up the cost of letting Jon Lester go.

    The Red Sox botched up their negotiations with Lester in during spring training of 2014, making an initial offer of $70 million that was roughly $40 million short of what it should have been. Talks broke down and Lester was traded in July.

  • Wait...you're flip-flopping again?!

    Is this legal? What is the rule here on opining definitively and then changing your mind?

    I am not only surprised at your declaration, but Cutler's better 2015 showing. I don't get it - he went through Martz, Turner, Trestman, Kromer, and now Gase...and he is still here! And. he'll be here mext year too.

  • Happ signs w Jays

    Morsi saying Price won't be a Jay

  • needs more d.beeler and e.jokisch

  • As an Illinois tax payer I appreciate what they r doing

  • + Bankruptcy Court