Rivas Leads Cubs to Victory at Fitch
Luis Rivas singled, doubled, and homered, scored twice, and drove-in four runs, and Ryan Freel reached base four times and scored three runs, leading the EXST Cubs to a 7-4 victory over the EXST A's at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.
Two Chicago Cubs (Ryan Freel and Aaron Miles) and one Iowa Cub (Luis Rivas) rehabbing from injuries at Fitch Park hit 1-2-3 in each of the first four innings, and were responsible for most of the Cubs scoring.
And all three rehabbers looked to be 100% healthy, too. Freel and Rivas (both rehabbing from hamstring injuries) looked just fine running hard around the bases, and Freel (in particular) was running with unbridled abandon
Notre Dame outfielder A. J. Pollock played CF for all nine innings and got eight plate appearances, as the Cubs Scouting Department tries to figure out who they will select with the team's 1st round pick (#31 overall) in next week's Rule 4 Draft.
19-year old Venezuelan bonus baby (and Carlos Zambrano clone) RHP Larry Suarez got the start on the mound for the Cubs, and appeared to be overthrowing a bit, as he was pitching in front of practically the entire Cubs Scouting Department and Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mark Riggins. (Both Riggins and Cubs Minor League Hitting Coordinator Dave Keller have been at Fitch Park all week).
Suarez labored throughout his entire outing, and was relieved before he could complete three innings. Although he struck out the side, Suarez surrendered an unearned run in the top of the 1st on a double, a single, and an E-3 by 1B Sean Hoorelbeke on a pick-off attempt, and then the big right-hander gave up an earned run in the top of the 2nd on back to back doubles. He was removed from the game with runners at 2nd and 3rd and two outs in the top of the 3rd when he reached his max pitch count.
The Cubs offense, however, was up for the challenge, and scored six runs in the first three innings.
Freel reached base on a catcher's interference (E-2) leading off the bottom of the 1st, and advanced to 3rd on a one-out double by Rivas. After a walk loaded the the bases, Sean Hoorelbeke struck out, but then Matt Cerda walked with the bases loaded to force-in the 1st Cubs run.
The Cubs scored three more runs in the 2nd, when Freel and Miles led-off the inning with consecutive singles (with both runners advancing an extra base on Miles' single when the A's left-fielder bobbled the ball), and then both runners scored on an RBI single to center by Rivas. After Rivas moved up to 2nd base on a balk, Juan Medina drove him in with a line single to center.
The Cubs plated two more runs in the bottom of the 4th on a lead-off single by Freel followed by a one-out towering two-run homer onto 8th Street by Rivas, and then the Cubs completed their scoring in the 8th.
Tomorrow's Extended Spring Training game at the A's camp at the Papago Baseball Complex in Phoenix has been canceled because the Cubs want to have a closed "Camp Day" work-out for potential draft picks for their scouts at Fitch Park So today's game concluded the Cubs Extended Spring Training schedule.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only). Note that the Cubs took their at bats in the bottom of the 9th even though they already had won the game, because the A's pitcher needed another inning of work, Freel-Miles-Rivas-Pollock hit 1-2-3-4 in each of the first four innings, Pollock led-off innings 5-6-7-8-9, and Soto remained in the game defensively in LF after he was replaced in the batting order by Guevara.
1a. Ryan Freel, DH #1: 2-2 (E2-CI, 1B, BB, 1B - 3 R, 1 PO)
1b. Jose Made, DH #1: 1-2 (L-7, 1B)
2a. Aaron Miles, 3B: 1-4 (F-7, 1B+E-7, F-8, F-7 - 1 R)
2b. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 0-2 (E-5, F-9)
3a. Luis Rivas, 2B: 3-4 (2B, 1B, P-4, HR, - 2 R, 4 RBI)
3b. George Matheus, 3B: 1-2 (1B, FC+E4)
4. A. J. Pollock, CF: 1-6 (BB, P-6, BB, K, F-8, K, 1B, F-8 - 1 R, 1 SB)
5. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B: 0-3 (K, L-8, K)
6. Matt Cerda, DH #2: 0-1 (BB, K, BB - 1 RBI)
7. Juan Medina, C-DH #3: 2-2 (1B, 1B - 1 RBI, 1 CS)
8a. Kevin Soto, LF: 0-2 (K-DP, 4-3)
8b. Jose Guevara, PH-C: 0-2 (K, P-3)
9a. Robert Bautista, SS: 0-1 (BB, F-8 - 1 CS)
9b. Logan Watkins, SS: 1-1 (1B)
10. Sean Williams, RF: 0-2 (L-7, K)
1. Larry Suarez - 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO
2. Eduardo Figueroa - 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO
3. Yohan Gonzalez - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 1/3 GO/FO
4. Melvin Vasquez - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 4/0 GO/FO
1B Sean Hoorelbeke - ball bounced off his glove on pick-off attempt at 1st base, allowing runner to advance to 3rd base and eventually score unearned run.
P Yohan Gonzalez - threw attempted pick-off at 2nd base into CF, allowing runner to advance to 3rd base.
Juan Medina - 1 PB