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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).    

Andres Blanco looped a single over the third-baseman's head to score Reed Johnson from second with one out in the bottom of the 9th, as the Cubs squandered an early 7-1 lead only to come back and defeat the Cleveland Indians 9-8 before a sparse crowd on Spring Training "getaway day" at Ho Ho Kam Park this afternoon in Mesa.  

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Nate Spears and Brad Snyder smacked home runs, but it wasn't enough, as the Sacramento River Cats (the Oakland A's AAA affiliate) scratched out a 10-5 victory over the Iowa Cubs this afternnon at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix.

Torii Hunter crushed a lead-off first-pitch home run to ignite a seven-run 4th inning, propelling the Angels to an 8-4 victory over the Cubs at Ho Ho Kam Park this afternoon in Mesa, as the Cubs set an all-time single-season Cactus League attendance record. (It probably helped that the 2009 Cactus League season was extended by a week and a few extra home games to accomodate the WBC).   

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Mark DeRosa drove in four runs with two long home runs and a sacrifice fly and scored another run after reaching base on a double, as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Cubs 7-5 before 13,097 fans at sunny and breezy Dwight Patterson Field at Ho Ho Kam Park in Mesa this afternoon.

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Cubs Manager Lou Pniella generally prefers to delegate pitching matters to his pitching coach (that would be Larry Rothschild), but one aspect of the pitching staff Uncle Lou believes he understands is how to get his bullpen ready for Opening Day.

And a big part of this preparation is Piniella's belief that each of his relievers need to throw on back-to-back days once or twice during the last ten days of Spring Training, and each reliever needs to throw two innings one time, too.   

That's where Minor League Spring Training games can really come in handy. 

While Ryan Dempster, Jeff Samardzija, Randy Wells, and Kevin Hart made the two-hour bus trip to Tucson to pitch against the Colorado Rockies at Hi Corbett Field, Kevin Gregg, Chad Fox, and Luis Vizcaino took the 20-minute van ride to the Papago Park Baseball Complex in Phoenix (a former WWII POW Camp) to get their work in versus the Oakland A's AAA squad in a minor league game.      

The Cubs scored seven runs in the bottom of the 1st, and cruised to a 9-4 victory over the White Sox this afternoon at Ho Ho Kam Park in Mesa, in front of a Cactus League record crowd of 13,327, a game that I'm sure many of you watched on WGN-TV.

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I had so much fun watching the Iowa Cubs yesterday at Fitch Park, I decided to follow the Cubs' AAA affiliate to neighboring Tempe today as they took on the Angels AAA affiliate (the PCL Salt Lake Bees) at the Angels Minor League Complex at Diablo Park. 

While it isn't unusual for one or more Cubs major leaguers to play in a AAA game (esprcially when the big club has a night game), that wasn't the case today  

Kyle Reynolds smashed a two-run homer and Doug Deeds blasted a solo shot, but that's all the runs the Cubs could muster. And since tthe four Cubs pitchers were (mostly) ineffective, the I-Cubs lost, 7-3.

Here is today's abridged box score (Iowa Cubs players only). Some of the more observant among you might note that most all of the I-Cubs who played today were at big league camp not too long ago...  

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