Hoff-POWER! Act Getting a Bit Old
Micah Hoffpauir hit a three-run homer and reached base three times, Mike Fontenot drove in four runs with a two-run homer and a two-run triple, and Sam Fuld smacked a solo home run, scored two runs, and threw a runner out at the plate, as the Cubs thrashed the Texas Rangers 10-4 at Surprise Stadium today.
Ted Lilly got the start, and worked two shutout innings, leaving unscathed thanks to a runner (Frank Catalanotto) being thrown out at the plate after a two out double by Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the bottom of the second.
The Cubs had taken the lead in the top of the frame, throwing up a seven spot on Rangers starter Scott Feldman.
Doug Deeds led off the Cubs second with a triple, and scored on an RBI single by Luis Rivas. So Taguchi then reached base on an error and Ryan Theriot singled to load the bases. After the runners advanced on an RBI ground out by Reed Johnson, Hoffpauir slammed a three-run blast, his second homer in three days. Geovany Soto singled with two outs, and then Fontenot followed with his two-run shot.
The Rangers came back with single runs off J. R. Mathes in the 3rd (a Ryan Theriot error followed by two singles) and 4th (a single, a double, and an RBI GO), before the Cubs took an 9-2 lead in the top of the 6th.
Reed Johnson reached base leading off the inning after being hit by a pitch, and pinch-runner Sam Fuld moved up to second on a two-out walk to Mark Johnson. Fontenot then followed with a two-run triple to plate Fuld and Johnson.
The Rangers scored two off Rocky Roquet in the 7th to narrow the Cub lead to 9-4, as Adam Melhuse smashed a one-out bases loaded double. But the potential third run was cut down at the plate.
Fuld led off the 8th for the Cubs with a solo HR, and Jake Fox followed with a double, but was left stranded when DH Jason Dubois struck out, Mark Johnson grounded out, and Bobby Scales struck out.
Cubs pitchers retired the last seven Rangers batters on three ground outs and four punch-outs, and Cubs pitchers racked up 12 strikeouts for the day. Andruw Jones struck out three times (not easy to do in a Spring Training game).
The Cubs return to Mesa tomorrow to play the White Sox.
BTW, I was not at today's game (Surprise is like half-way to California), so I was forced to follow the game via "live" box score.