A's Late Rally Tops Cubs at Papago Park

Luis Baez stroked two run-scoring doubles (one to tie the game in th 6th and another to put the A's ahead in the 9th) and knocked-in three runs, helping to rally the Athletics to a 6-4 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Papago Park Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") in Phoenix, AZ.

Jesse Hodges smacked an RBI double and a solo HR, Albert Almora singled, doubled, and scored a run, and Paul Blackburn hurled three shutout innings for the Cubs in a losing cause.

The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning affair, so when the A's scored three runs in the bottom of the 9th to take a 6-4 lead, the Cubs still had a chance to mount a comeback. But they left the bases loaded in the top of the 10th.  

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

1. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-3 (BB, F-9, K, BB, 1-3, CS)
2. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-3 (K, BB, BB, 4-3, 1B, R, SB)
3. Albert Almora, CF: 2-5 (4-3, F-9, 2B, 6-3, 1B, R)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-5 (4-1, 4-3, 1B, K, F-8, RBI)
5. Yasiel Balaguert, LF: 1-5 (F-9, P-3, 4-6 FC, F-8, 1B, RBI, CS)
6a. Reggie Golden, DH: 0-2 (K, BB, K, R)
6b. Rony Rodriguez, PH-DH: 0-2 (K, F-9)
7. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-3 (HBP, 2B, HR, 5-3, R, 2 RBI)
8. Erick Castillo, C: 2-4 (6-3 DP, P-4, 1B, 1B)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-4 (K, P-3, 6-4 FC, F-8)
1. Paul Blackburn: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 46 pitches (25 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
2. Erick Leal: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 56 pitches (37 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
3. Jasvir Rakkar: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 29 pitches (16 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 9 pitches (5 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
5. Matt Iannazzo: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 25 pitches (16 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO

3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely - eventually scored unearned run)

Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS


WEATHER: Partly cloudy & very breezy with temperatures in the 90's

NOTE: It wasn't a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game, but the Cubs did play an intrasquad game at Fitch Park yesterday (Thursday).

Kevin Encarnacion singled twice, walked, and clubbed a two-run HR, Jose Dore doubled and tripled and drove-in three runs, Francisco Sanchez singled twice, doubled, and scored two runs, Reggie Golden doubled twice (both off the LF fence) and scored two runs, and RHP Alexander Santana threw three innings of no hit ball (one walk & three strikeouts), but he did allow an unearned run thanks to a Danny Lockhart three-base throwing error.

Here is the box score from yesterday's intrasquad game:

1. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 3-4 (1B, 1B, BB, P-6, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, CS)
2. Danny Lockhart, 3B: 2-4 (K, F-7 SF, 1B+E1, P-5, 1B, 2 R, RBI)
3a. Justin Marra, C: 0-3 (K, 3-1, F-9)
3b. Neftali Rosario, C: 1-2 (K, 1B, R)
4a. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-2 (F-9, K, F-8 SF, RBI)
4b. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-2 (1B, F-7, R)
5. Jose Dore, RF: 2-5 (K, 3-1, K, 3B, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI)
6. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 2-5 (K, 3B, K, K, 1B+E8, R, RBI)
7. Erick Castillo, DH #1: 1-4 (6-3, HBP, P-6, 1B, 6-3, R, RBI)
8b. Shawon Dunston Jr, DH #2: 0-1 (K)
9. Frandy de la Rosa, 2B: 2-3 (1B, 1B, K, BB, R, RBI)
10. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 3-4 (1B, 2B, 1B, 5-4 FC, 2 R)

1a. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-3 (1-3, F-8, K)
1b. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI, PO)
2. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-4 (3B, E-5, 5-3, F-8, BB, R)
3a. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 0-3 (6-3, K, F-7)
3b. Roberto Caro, LF: 0-2 (4-3, 1-3)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-4 (F-8, FC, L-3, 6-3, RBI)
5. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-3 (L-8, BB, K, 1B)
6a. Lance Rymel, C: 0-3 (P-4, F-8, K)
6b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-1 (F-7)
7. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 1-4 (1B, K, K, E-4, R)
8a. Garrett Schlecht, DH: 0-1 (BB, 3-1)
8b. Reggie Golden, PH-DH: 2-2 (2B, 2B, 2 R)
9. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 0-3 (BB, F-7, E-6, 6-3, RBI, SB, CS)

1. Loiger Padron: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 31 pitches (17 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
2. Alexander Santana: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 38 pitches (25 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
3. Ethan Elias: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Juan Francisco: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 31 pitches (18 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO

1. Anthony Prieto: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 24 pitches (16 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
2. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 27 pitches (16 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Jorge Diaz: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
4. Orbandy Rodriguez: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 34 pitches (21 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
NOTE: Top of the 8th inning was stopped with two outs when O. Rodriguez reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
5. Luis Villalba: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 31 pitches (21 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO

1. 3B Danny Lockhart - E-5 (three-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 3rd base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. 2B Frandy de la Rosa - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)

1. P Jorge Diaz - E-1 (throwing error on bunt single allowed batter & two runners to advance one extra base each)
2. CF Rashad Crawford - E-8 (fielding error allowed batter to take extra base on single)

Neftali Rosario
: 0-1 CS

Lance Rymel: 1-1 CS

RF Yasiel Balaguert - threw out baserunner (Erick Castillo) 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on single




A short doc on a long ago MLB legend



Interesting tweet in the tweet box: z'Remember when Rizzo was striking out a lot? No K's in last 31 AB's..tied for 2nd longest active streak in majors"

Don't know if that includes last night, but it sure goes a long way to explaining his improved hitting. It's a curious thing, though, the difference between the way his season started and now. How does that happen?

Geiger-Soler put on a fireworks show in yesterday's Daytona Cubs doubleheader...


Over his past three games, Geiger is 10-for-13 with eight extra-base hits.


The 21-year-old outfielder was 7-for-10 with a homer and a double in the doubleheader, raising his OPS to .908, which ranks eighth in the Florida State League -- one spot ahead of Geiger.

"[Jorge] has shown me that his patience is above average for this level," Keller said. "He doesn't chase a whole lot of pitches out of the strike zone. He's always getting a good pitch to hit. We're just trying to continually reinforce to him that he needs to use the whole field."

I was listening to the "live" audio on mlb.com when the Cubs drafted Dustin Geiger back in 2010, and they announced him as an "outfielder" when they drafted him. So although he had played 3rd base in HS, the Cubs Area Scout projected Geiger as a corner outfielder. But to get him to sign (he had signed an NLI with Central Florida), the Cubs had to give him an overslot bonus and agree to let him play 3B (at least for a while).

So look for Geiger to be moved to a corner OF slot (probably LF, what with Soler holding down RF) sometime soon.

Brett Jackson...

"Some of the best advice I've gotten is, I was sitting with Ian Stewart, talking about hitting and I was feeling for my swing as you do early in the season," Jackson recalled. "He asked if I was comfortable at the plate and I said I'm not very comfortable right now. He's like, 'You need to be yourself at the plate and be comfortable and be the type of hitter [you] want to be.'"



Mets fans are louder than Cubs fans. A new low point.

they have an entire section of the bleachers today...kinda creepy.

m.garza debuts tuesday vs pitt

vanillawafers (with recently shaved mustache) to the pen

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Totally independent of the Cubs winning or losing today, Dan Haren came into today's game having earned $2M of his potential $3M in performance bonuses for 2015. 

    By making the start (his 32nd start of the season) he picked up $500K, and he'll get the remaining $500K if he can throw at least 8.2 IP in the game (he was at 181.1 IP coming into the game, and he needs to reach 190 IP to get the remaining $500K), 

    It's a bit like the old "Bowling for Dollars" TV show, but of course Haren is actually "Pitching for Dollars."

  • holy crap, MIL is just...awful.

  • i think he's currently playing for the Santo Domingo Meths. he's an Adderall-Star player there.

  • I'm longing for a Neifi sighting.

  • if you have stable/fast internet you can stream with and you don't mind giving up $20 a month check out "sling tv".


    TBS, TNT, ESPN 1+2, etc...100% legal.


  • 68 pitches (50 strikes)

    love seeing that...especially with the batters doing very little with it.

  • Yeah, keep him off the playoff roster.

  • Or, he's looked exactly like Ted Williams.

  • Lately he hasn't looked like Ted Williams...

  • Reading between the lines on some of his comments he seems to know his longish swing doesn't play well with a man on third and two outs, and two strikes on him. I doubt a playoff adjustment is happening, just something he'll need to figure out next year. I have this odd feeling he will.

  • Mark Gonzales ‏@MDGonzales 4m4 minutes ago
    Bryant leads NL rookies in HRs (26), RBIs (99), 2B (31) and runs (86). Last rookie to reach 26 HR, 99 RBI, 31 2bs, 86 runs and 74 BBs?

    Mark Gonzales ‏@MDGonzales 4m4 minutes ago
    Boston’s Ted Williams in 1939

  • Surprised and bummed that Mark Buehrle is retiring. One of my all-time favorite pitchers. I think he could pitch for 5 more years.

  • Probably going to a bar/restaurant with TBS. Cord-cutting is so over-rated.

  • Thanks for the update on Underwood.

  • I know, man. What a season. 3rd best record in all of baseball, good enough to have won any division other than the one there in.

    With a win tomorrow, the Cubs will match their 2008 record. Bad omen, I know. If they do win, the most recent year in which the Cubs will have won more games would be 1945 (98-56), the last time they went to the World Series.

    I'll take that omen instead...