Cubs Rally in 9th to Beat Royals
Casey McGehee bounced a PH GW RBI single between short and third, scoring Ronny Cedeno with the winning run in the bottom of the 9th, as the Cubs rallied to defeat the Royals 6-5 at HoHoKam Park this afternoon.
The Cubs trailed 5-4 entering the last frame, and were facing Royals closer Joakim Soria.
Koyie Hill led-off by hitting a broken-bat liner to the shortstop, but then Felix Pie looped a single over shortstop that fell in front of the left-fielder. Cedneo then hit a fly ball down the right-field line that fell just fair, and nearly bounced into the stands for what would have been a ground rule double, before instead rolling up against the stands and then into the RF corner, scoring the speedy Pie with the tying run as Cedeno came into 3rd standing up. McGehee followed by smacking an 0-2 pitch into the hole, and the Cubs had their victory.
Jason Marquis got the start for the Cubs today, facing off against KC LHP John Bale. Marquis pitched very well, allowing just one run on five hits, two walks, four strikeouts, and one GIDP in his five-plus innings of work.
Marquis threw a total of 73 pitches (46 strikes) with a 7/4 GB/FB, and never threw more than 17 pitches in any one inning (16-17-10-12-14-4).
The only run allowed by Marquis came in the top of the first, when lead-off hitter David DeJesus tripled into the RF corner, before scoring on a one-out RBI single. After that, Marquis pitched shutout ball until being removed after surrendering a lead-off single in the top of the 6th.
Meanwhile, the Cubs tied the score in the bottom of the 2nd on an RBI triple by Mark DeRosa following an infield hit by Kosuke Fukudome. However, Geovany Soto struck out looking and Felix Pie bounced out to 1st to end the possibility of any further damage.
But the Cubs did take the lead 4-1 in the bottom of the 6th, as Aramis Ramirez hit a one-out opposite-field three-run HR (his first dinger of the Spring), scoring Ronny Cedeno (who had reached on an infield hit) and Derrek Lee (who reached on a FC).
Cedeno didn't enter the game until the bottom of the 6th, but even so he managed to go 3-3 with a single, a double, and a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored.
Trying to protect a 4-1 Cubs lead in the top of the 7th, rookie RHP Tim Lahey was unable to get the job done, allowing two infield singles, two RBI doubles, a FC RBI, and a walk, before being relieved with only one out, Cubs down 5-4, and two runner still on base. But Les Walrond got out of the jam, and then Jose Ascanio (1-2-3 six-pitch 8th featuring three weak grounders) and Kevin Hart (1-2-3 9th including two strikeouts) kept the game close until the Cubs could pull it out in the bottom of the 9th.
It appeared that Alex Cintron suffered a pulled left hamstring while running out a single in the bottom of the 8th, and he had to be removed for a pinch-runner. He was last seen limping into the dugout. It's been a tough week for Cintron, first getting hit in the face with a foul ball while standing on the on-deck circle, and now this.