A's Keep Soler In Check at Papago Park

Matt Hillsinger and Daniel Robertson each smacked a two-run home run, leading the Athletics to a 7-4 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Papago Park Sports Complex Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") in Phoenix, AZ.

Kevin Encarnacion roped a two-run double down the RF line and Wilfredo Petit followed with an RBI single one out later to key a Cub rally in the top of the 9th, but it fell short and the A's hung-on to win the game.

RHP Ryan McNeil (Cubs 2012 3rd round draft pick) threw three innings of one-hit shutout ball in a losing cause.   

Jorge Soler played CF and hit 3rd in the Cub lineup, going 1-5. He lined out sharply to left in the top of the 1st (outstanding diving catcher by A's LF Hillsinger), hammered a single through the 5.5 hole in the 4th, bounced out 6-3 in the 6th, and struck out (swinging) in his last two AB. Soler is now 1-8 (with three strikeouts) in two EXST games since arriving in Mesa last Thursday. (He took BP on Friday, played in a game at Fitch Park on Saturday, and the EXST Cubs have Sundays off).

RHP Guillermo Moscoso got the start for the Cubs, his first game action since being claimed off waivers last month. He threw two innings, allowing just one single while striking out two.

Moscoso had a fine rookie season as a rotation starter with Oakland in 2011,  going 8-10 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. allowing just 102 hits with 38/74 BB/K in 128 IP. He was then traded to Colorado after the season for OF Seth Smith, and had a very poor year with the Rockies in 2012, posting a 6.12 ERA and 1.72 WHIP in 50 MLB IP, and a 6.13 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 98.1 AAA innings at Colorado Springs. He was claimed off waivers by both KC and Toronto during the 2012-13 off-season, before ending up with the Cubs in March. The Cubs put Moscoso back onto waivers immediately after claiming him, and were able to outright him to the minors when no teams put in a claim. He will probably eventually end up at AAA Iowa.

Today's game was continued into the 10th inning to allow all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw for the two squads to get their work.

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

1. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-5 (4-3, 6-U FC, 3-U, 4-3, P-6)
2a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-3 (6-3, K, K)
2b. Roberto  Caro, LF: 0-2 (K, K)
3. Jorge Soler, CF: 1-5 (L-7, 1B, 6-3, K, K)
4a. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-2 (4-1, HBP, K)
4b. Jose Dore, 1B: 0-0 (BB, R)
5a. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-1 (1-3, HBP)
5b. Carlos Penalver, SS: 2-2 (1B, 1B, R)
6a. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 0-1 (K, BB)
6b. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 1-2 (P-1, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
7. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-4 (1B, 4-3 DP, K, 6-3)
8a. Erick Castillo, C: 0-2 (F-8, F-8)
8b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 1-2 (P-6, 1B, RBI)
9. Alberto Mineo, DH: 1-4 (K, 6-3, F-7, 1B)

1. Guillermo Moscoso: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Ryan McNeil: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 40 pitches (30 strikes), 6/1 GO/FO
3. Trey Lang: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 44 pitches (27 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 11 pitches (8 strikies)
5. David Cales: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 17 pitches (14 strikes)

2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

Wilfredo Petit: 0-1 CS, 1 PO

RF Kevin Encarnacion - threw out runner 9-2 trying to score from 2nd base on line single


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's



AAA news...

d.barney goes 4-5 today (5-10, 3 games)

i.stewart 0-4 (0-7 w/ 4Ks, 2 games)

barney probably back tomorrow...i.stewart should be back in a week or 2.

Ouch - Stewart crunch'd!

stewart doesn't need any help...real or mystical...to screw up his playing ability.

at least he's got some more hacks to get in before he joins the cubs for the quest to the trade deadline...fun times. i wonder what slew of 18-20 year old Rookie/A-ball dominicans are in the cubs future.

wow...ben revere (PHI) throws his hat in the ring for an early nod on defensive play of the year.


Wow. He could've hyper-extended his spine with a dive like that. Reminds me of some of those Reed Johnson plays back in 2008.

Wow, this Cincy/Phillies game is good. It's fun to watch good teams for a change. Relievers are throwing strikes. Batters are waiting to swing at strikes.

In Dusty We Trusty.

Javier Baez not off to a great start. 49 PAs, 170/216/383, 8/47, 3 2B, 1 HR, 1 SB, 2 BB, 14 K. How can a guy hit in the AFL and not hi-A? Sample size notwithstanding.

Lance Berkman won't play the field at all in this series.


neither will the Cubs for the most part...

The return of Darwin Barney = the return of better-than-the-worst infield defense? There aren't many teams where Barney is both an offensive and defensive upgrade.

Chicago is no Waco, Lance, but we get by-


rays snag another ex-cub...

"Rays acquired LHP Jeff Beliveau from the Rangers for cash considerations; optioned him to Triple-A Durham."

"Chicago's one of the worst places for baseball ... really for anything." - Lance Berkman

lol trolled.

Brett Lillibridge sent back to Middle Earth.

Nightmare fuel Kevin Gregg on 40 man.

Cody friggin' Ransom got Bridged?

By Tim Dierkes...
The Cubs claimed infielder Cody Ransom off waivers from the Padres, GM Jed Hoyer told reporters including MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.  The team also purchased the contract of Kevin Gregg.  Sunday's waiver claim, Kameron Loe, is also joining the Cubs' bullpen, while reliever Hisanori Takahashi and infielder Brent Lillibridge were designated for assignment.  Second baseman Darwin Barney has been reinstated from the DL, as expected.

Ransom had been designated for assignment by the Padres on Friday.  The 37-year-old had the most exposure of his big league career last year, racking up a .220/.312/.411 line in 282 plate appearances for the Brewers and Diamondbacks.

an expendable/DFA'd padres hitter...always a good sign.

Lilibridge got Bridged.

Takahashi got Loe-balled

Recent comments

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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at mlb.com, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.


    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.