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Cubs Spin Two-hitter over the Rocks at Riverview

Kwangmin Kwon collected three hits (including an RBI single), Jonathan Soto drilled a two-run single and scored a run, and eight pitchers combined to toss a two-hitter with twelve strikeouts, as the Cubs defeated the Rockies 5-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

The game was called after eight innings of play.

LHPs Didier Vargas and Riger Fernandez and RHP Yovanny Cruz made their U. S. debut in today's game, working one inning a piece. All three pitched in the DSL last year.

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

Cubs Top Giant Black at Riverview

Carlos Pacheco singled twice, doubled, stole a base, scored a run, and drove-in another, Jonathan Sierra singled, walked, reached base on an HBP, stole a base, and scored three runs, Brailyn Marquez and Jeremiah Estrada combined to strike out seven of the first 11 men they faced, and seven pitchers combined to toss a five-hitter, as the Cubs cruised past the Giants black squad 7-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Monday morning on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after eight innings of play.

The 19-year old Pacheco was signed by the Cubs out of Mexico in 2016, he tied for 2nd in the DSL in HR in 2017, and he is expected to provide power for one the two Cubs AZL teams this summer.

RHPs Fernando Calderon, Benjamin Rodriguez, and Jose M. Gonzalez made their U. S. debut in today's game, working one inning a piece. All three pitched in the DSL last year.

Not counting pitchers who are rehabbing at Extended Spring Training, Marquez and Estrada are clearly the Cubs top two pitching prospects at EXST, and the duo will likely be at the top of the Eugene starting rotation when the NWL begins play in June.

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

Alzolay Breezes Through Five at Riverview

RHSP Adbert Alzolay hurled five innings (75 pitches) of one-run ball with seven strikeouts, Yovanny Cuevas knocked-in four runs with a two-run single and a two run double, Gustavo Polanco belted a solo HR and singled twice (including an RBI single), and Fidel Mejia drilled a two-run double and a single and scored twice, leading the Cubs to a 10-2 victory over the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Saturday morning on Field #6 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Prior to the game, RHPs Yovanny Cruz, Eduarniel Nunez, Jesus Tejada, Garrett Kelly, and Stephen Ridings, and LHP Riger Fernandez threw "live" BP on Field #4. Y. Cruz, Fernandez, and Tejada attended AZ Instructs post-2017 but did not pitch in any games, but E. Nunez is making his U. S. debut at Extended Spring Training this year. G. Kelly (ex-MIN) was acquired by the Cubs from Schaumburg (Frontier League) last month but he has not yet pitched in a game. 

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

R. Mejia Big Fly and Timely Walk Help Cubs Edge Snakes

Rafael Mejia belted a three-run HR to cap a five-run 4th and drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 8th to force-in what proved to be the winning run, Luis Diaz drilled an RBI double to put the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the 1st and later walked twice and scored a run, and Luis Vazquez singled twice and scored a run, helping the Cubs edge the Diamondbacks 8-7 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Friday morning on Field #6 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

RHPs Fernando Calderon, Yan de la Cruz, Jose M. Gonzalez, Junior Marte, and Benjamin Rodriguez (all five recent arrivals from the Cubs Dominican Academy) threw "live" BP on Field #4 prior to the start of the Cactus League game on Field #6. Marte has pitched in both the AZL and the Northwest League in prior seasons (2015-17), but the other four are making their U. S. debut this year at Extended Spring Training.

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

Cubs Win Home Opener

Kyle Ryan hurled three innings of shutout ball and combined with four relievers to toss a two-hit shutout, Fernando Kelli singled twice, walked, stole two bases, and scored two runs, and Cam Balego (two-run double) and Gioskar Amaya (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits, as the Cubs blanked the Dodgers 4-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Opening Day game action Tuesday morning on Field #6 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the Cubs pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work (and even with the extra half-inning Cubs pitchers still threw a two-hit shutout!).   

K. Ryan was left behind when the Iowa Cubs departed Arizona last week, and he is staying ready in case he is needed in Des Moines. He dominated the young Dodgers today. 

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

Dunderwood Just Plain Dealin' at Riverview Park

Iowa Cubs RHSP Duane Underwood Jr hurled 6.2 IP of two-hit shutout baseball, Henderson Perez belted a two-run HR, and Christopher Morel smacked a solo HR, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Wednesday morning on Field #6 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

The Morel HR was hit halfway to Scottsdale.

The game was pre-planned as an eleven-inning affair so that all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get their work.

So it looks like Underwood is ready for his first start with the I-Cubs (probably next Tuesday).

LHRP Kyle Ryan (who was an NRI to MLB Spring Training) followed Underwood to the mound and retired seven of the eight men he faced. (K. Ryan was assigned to Extended Spring Training to get work and stay ready in case he is needed at Iowa).  

LHP Manuel Rondon and RHP Erick Leal also threw in the game (this was the second game appearance for both of them after spending most of Minor League Camp in the Rehab Throwing Program).
 
Here is the box score from the game:

Oscar de la Cruz Goes Six Strong at Riverview

Oscar de la Cruz hurled six innings (78 pitches - 72% strikes) of one-run/three-hit ball (run was unearned) with five strikeouts and no walks, Cam Balego drilled an RBI single and an RBI double and drew a walk, Delvin Zinn singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored three runs, Jonathan Soto belted a two-run HR and a single, and Alexander Guerra smacked a solo HR, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Tuesday morning on Field #6 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Alec Mills (Iowa) and Oscar de la Cruz (Tennessee) were the starting pitchers in the game. Both were left behind in Mesa by their respective full-season clubs so that they could pitch in a game on what was their normal day to pitch, with both scheduled to make regular-season starts for their teams this coming Sunday or Monday. So it was a matter of them getting both their normal-scheduled work and increasing their pitch counts closer to regular-season levels.  

Enrique de los Rios and Brendan King followed de la Cruz and Mills to the mound, getting stretched-out in preparation for being Cubs EXST SP.  
 
Here is the box score from the game:      

Home Runs Reign Down at Riverview Park

Abraham Rodriguez belted a three-run HR, Luis Vazquez drove-in three runs (two-run HR and a sac fly), singled, walked, stole a base, and scored two runs, Chris Coghlan drilled a two-run HR and a single and scored two runs, Kevin Zamudio slammed a two-run HR, Joe Martarano knocked-in two runs (solo HR and an RBI single), Cam Balego doubled, singled, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, and Henderson Perez singled twice and scored two runs, in Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Monday morning on Field #6 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Chris Coghlan served as a DH for both squads, going a combined 2-6.

The Defensive Gem of the Day was turned-in by SS Luis Vazquez (Cubs 2017 14th round draft pick out of Puerto Rico), who made a spectacular diving stop behind 2nd base, and then from flat on his back, somehow was able to complete a "no-look pass" to 2nd baseman Luis Diaz, who then completed the 6-4-3 DP. Vazquez had an excellent Minor League Camp and will very likely be the starting SS at Eugene once the short-season leagues begin play in June.  

The Iowa Cubs, Tennessee Smokies, and South Bend Cubs departed Arizona today, but three pitchers from Cubs "full-season" affiliates who are not scheduled to start a game until this weekend (Iowa RHSP Luke Farrell, Tennessee RHSP Thomas Hatch, and South Bend RHSP Cory Abbott) were left behind in Mesa and threw in today's intrasquad game, mainly for the purpose of getting their scheduled work, but also to increase their pitch count to where it will need to be once the regular season starts. (Tennessee RHSP Adbert Alzolay also threw in the game, but he will probably need at least one more EXST start beyond today before he is ready to join the Smokies).   

Also, Cubs 2012 3rd round pick RHRP Ryan McNeil saw his first game-action of 2017 after spending Minor League Camp in the Rehab Throwing Program (back, hip, and elbow). McNeil is eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2018, so this season will be an important one for him.   

Here is the box score from the game:

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