Cubs Blow Lead Then Rally to Edge A's at Sloan Park

Moises Ballesteros smacked an RBI double into the right-centerfield alley and scored and David Bote hammered an RBI triple into the LF corner and scored to highlight a three-run Cub 1st inning, Reivaj Garcia belted a two-run HR into the RF bullpen to plate two runs for the Cubs in the 2nd, and then after Hansen Lopez (RBI single), Jose Escorche (two-run single), and Darlyn Montero (two-run double) contributed run scoring hits in a five-run A's 5th that tied the game, Cristian More drilled an RBI single in the 6th and Bryan Serra laced an RBI single in the 7th, as the Cubs blew an early 5-0 lead and then came-back to edge the Athletics 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Saturday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

In addition, Jose Bonilla singled twice and scored twice and Angel Arevalo walked twice, lined an RBI single, and scored a run for the A's. 

Moises Ballesteros ended up collecting two doubles for the Cubs in the game as well as throwing out a runner trying to steal, while Frank Hernandez singled, doubled and scored, and drove-in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Signed by the Cubs for a $1.5M bonus as a 16-year old out of Venezuela in 2021 the same day the Cubs signed Christian Hernandez, Moises Ballesteros has thrown out 67% (6 of 9) of baserunners atempting steal against him in Cactus League EXST games, as well as picking a runner off 2nd base. In 46 Cactus League EXST plate appearances, he is hitting 216/348/297, with a 17% BB-rate and a 17% K-rate. 

A native of Cuba who migrated with his twin brother Omar to Spain where they played together on the Team Spain 18U squad, Frank Hernandez is a high-contact hitter, with a 14% K-rate but only a 3% walk-rate. He is hitting 303/333/394, and leads the team in RBI and AVG (minimum 30 PA). He was a two-way player (RHP / OF) in Spain prior to signing with the Cubs in December 2019, and you can see he has a pitcher's arm when he uncorks throws from the outfield. Twin brother Omar is a catcher, and he was signed by the Kansas City Royals in 2018. Omar is presently playing in Lo-A.  

Cubs RHRP Angel Gonzalez continues to impress, mixing his high-octane 96-98 MPH FB with an 87-89 MPH SL. His command isn't necessarily quite where it needs to be yet, but it's a lot better than it was.      

Although the game was played in Sloan Park, the A's played as the home team because the Cubs did not have enough pitchers available to cover more than seven innings. As a resuilt, the game was called after 7-1/2 innings of play.

In EXST Cubs roster news, 1B Felix Stevens has completed his rehab and he has rejoined Myrtle Beach. 

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

CUBS LINEUP:
1. Cristian More, DH #1: 1-4 (F-8, 4-3, 1B, K, RBI, CS) 
2. Cristian Hernandez, SS: 0-2 (BB, P-5, BB, 5-3, R)
3a. Moises Ballesteros, C: 2-3 (2B, 2B, K, R, RBI)
3b. Wally Soto, C: 0-1 (F-8)
4. David Bote, DH #2: 1-3 (3B, P-3, P-6, R, RBI)
5. Frank Hernandez, RF: 2-2 (F-9 SF, 1B, 2B, R, RBI)
6a. Josue Huma, 1B: 0-1 (BB, 4-3, SB)
6b. Alejandro Rivero, 1B: 0-1 (F-8) 
7a. Rafael Morel, DH #3: 0-1 (K, HBP)
7b. Bryan Serra, PH: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
8. Miguel Pabon, 3B: 0-2 (F-9, HBP, P-3)
9. Brayan Altuve, LF-CF: 0-2 (BB, K, K, R) 
10a. Reivaj Garcia, 2B: 1-2 (HR, F-7, R, 2 RBI)
10b. Joanfran Rojas, 2B: 0-1 (F-7) 
11a. Christian Olivo, CF: 0-1 (6-3, BB, R, SB) 
11b. Flemin Bautista, LF: 0-1 (3-1) 

CUBS PITCHERS
1. Wilfri Figuereo: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/AO, 23 pitches (11 strikes) 
2. Gleiber Morales: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 39 pitches (19 strikes)
3. Gregori Montano: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 2 WP, 1/0 GO/AO, 41 pitches (20 strikes) 
4. Angel Gonzalez: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 29 pitches (16 strikes)  

CUBS ERRORS: NONE 

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
1. Moises Ballesteros: 1-1 CS 
2. Wally Soto: 1-5 CS
 
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+

ATTENDANCE: 31 

Arizona 
Scoring 
Service 

"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"