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The EXST Giants defeated the EXST Cubs 4-1 in a pre-planned 12 inning Extended Spring Training game at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.

Sean Hoorelbeke slammed a double off the right-centerfield fence with two outs in the top of the 8th, scoring Chris Weimer from 1st base with the go-ahead run, as the EXST Cubs edged the EXST A's 3-2 in a rematch at the A's Minor League Complex Field #2 at Papago Park in Phoenix this morning.   

CF Jae-Hoon Ha had three hits, scored three runs, and made three circus catches in the outfield, leading the EXST Cubs to a 13-5 drubbing of the EXST A's at the Oakland A's Minor League Complex at Papago Park in Phoenix this morning.  

Dwayne Kemp drove in the go-ahead runs with a line drive two-run single to right-center in the top of the 11th, but the EXST Cubs could not hold the lead, as the EXST Angels rallied with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame, as the Cubs and Angels played to a 4-4 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at the Angels Minor League Complex at Diablo Park in Tempe this morning.

The other offensive highlight for the Cubs was provided over the course of an inning by speedy Dominican lead-off hitter Jose Valdez, who reached base after being hit by a pitch to lead-off the top of the 5th, and then proceeded to steal 2nd, 3rd, and home.

For all you Angels fans out there (and you know who you are), RHSP Kelvim Escobar (on the 60-day DL after undergoing shoulder surgery) made a rehab start for the EXST Angels, throwing 1.2 IP (30 pitches) and retiring all five men he faced on three ground outs, a line drive, and a strikeout. 

Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only)...

Dwayne Kemp had three hits (including two triples) and drove in four runs, Chris Weimer slugged three doubles and drove-in three runs, Logan Watkins had three hits and two RBI, and Kevin Soto had three hits and an outfield assist, leading the EXST Cubs to a 12-3 drubbing of the EXST Angels at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in hot & sunny Mesa.

A native of Rotterdam, Kemp was the second player signed by the Cubs out of the MLB European Baseball Academy (Italian RHP Alessandro Maestri was the first) and was a member of the Team Netherlands provisional roster for the WBC, and like Cubs 2B Mike Fontenot, the 5'8 might-mite really packs some punch. Both of Kempy's triples today were opposite field shots slammed off the right-centerfield fence.

20-year old Venezuelan RHP Robert Hernandez, who is at EXST rehabbing from a sprained ankle suffered in a game at Papago Park the last week of Minor League Camp, pitched two innings today and showed no ill effects. Several of his family and friends were at the game today, and he looks to be about ready to move up to Daytona.  

And LHP Chris Siegfried, who was left at Fitch Park at the end of Minor League Camp to work on his mechanics and revamp his delivery, has been promoted to Peoria.

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

Just missing a grand slam HR, 18-year old Korean OF Jae-Hoon Ha clubbed a bases-loaded triple high off the left-centerfield fence to cap a five-run 5th, and fellow 18-year old Korean Hak-Ju Lee (presently rehabbing from 2008 TJS at Fitch Park) doubled twice and drove-in two runs, as the EXST Cubs outlasted the EXST A's 10-7 at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in hot & sunny Mesa, AZ.

19-year old RHP Tarlandus Mitchell had the most-impressive outing of the four Cubs pitchers who worked today, tossing 2.2 IP of hitless ball. Mitchell may be only 5''8, but his mid-90's fastball really packs a wallop. The young Texan was an all-state football player (QB/DB) as well as a two-way star baseball player (P/OF) at Alto HS before getting drafted by the Cubs in the 22nd round of the 2008 Rule 4 Draft. He fell to the 22nd round only because he was considered a "tough sign" who was more-likely to play college football than pro baseball, but the Cubs are no doubt glad he chose a career in baseball.

Converted 3B Josh Lansford (son of Carney Lansford) also got an inning of work today and looked good, retiring the side 1-2-3 with one strikeout. Although his father and uncles were MLB third-basemen, his brother is a pitcher in the A's organization, and so maybe it's not surprising that Josh looks like a natural on the mound.

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

Chris Weimer blasted a bases-loaded triple to key a five-run 8th, as the EXST Cubs rallied to tie the EXST Giants 6-6 in an eight-inning game at Fitch Park Field #1 this morning in Mesa. The 22-year old Weimer was signed by the Cubs as a Non-Drafted Free-Agent (NDFA) this past off-season after surviving a near-fatal car crash during his senior year in college at the U. of Nebraska - Omaha. 

19-year old Korean RHP Su-Min Jung got the start for the Cubs and worked three strong innings, mixing a plus-fastball with an advanced curve and change. He got a lot of swings & misses.    

Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):

Ryan Keedy had three hits including two RBI doubles, but the Giants edged the Cubs 4-3 in an eight-inning Extended Spring Training game on Fitch Park Field #3 this morning. Meanwhile, another squad of Cubs blanked a second squad of Giants 11-0 in a seven-inning game on Field #2, as Larry Suarez and Carlos Rojas threw lights-out shutout ball over the seven innings. (The Giants brought their entire EXST squad to Mesa today--which is unusual--so there were enough players for two games).

I could have tried to watch & score both games simultaneously, but I opted to score only the game on Field #3, so here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only) from that game:

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Kyler Burke had three hits including a solo HR and an RBI single, but it wasn't enough, as the Peoria Chiefs were defeated by the Kane County Cougars (Oakland A's "Lo-A" affiliate) 9-5 at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix today (and yes, I did watch both games simultaneously)...

Here is today's abridged box score (Peoria Chiefs players only)...  

Jovan Rosa had three hits, including a grand slam HR crushed over the CF fence, as the Daytona Cubs and Stocton Ports (Oakland A's Hi-"A" affiliate) played to an 8-8 tie at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix this afternoon.

A 21-year old corner infielder signed by the Cubs as a "Draft & Follow" out of Lake City JC (FL) in May 2007, Rosa led the Midwest League in doubles last season with 43.

Here is today's abridged box score (D-Cubs players only). Note that Russ Canzler and Marquez Smith have been demoted from AA Tennessee to Daytona, apparently an indication that OF Brandon Guyer and INF Jonathan Mota may have made the Tenneessee Smokies Opening Day roster.

Also, Tyler Colvin (rehabbing from Fall 2008 TJS) will be the DH with Daytona until he is ready to return to the outfield at either Tennessee or Iowa later this season.(Daytona plays in a league that uses the DH in all games, while AA Tennessee and AAA Iowa only use the DH when playing an American League affiliiate on the road).    

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