Yaniel Cabezas singled twice, doubled, scored two runs, and threw out two opposing base-stealers, and four Cubs pitchers combined to throw a four-hitter, as a split squad of EXST Cubs edged the EXST Angels 2-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #2 in Mesa this morning.
The game was extended an extra inning to allow Cubs and Angels pitchers to get their scheduled work.
Cubs pitchers Austin Reed and Luis Liria combined to throw six no-run, no hit innings to get things started, retiring 18 of the first 19 men they faced. When Reed is good (that is, when he throws strikes), he is VERY good, and Liria should probably be at Peoria.
It seems to help the younger pitchers when experienced catchers like Chad Noble (played four years of Big Ten baseball at Northwestern) and Yaniel Cabezas (catcher for Cuban Junior National Team) are behind the plate.
Meanwhile, the Cubs were facing MLB LHP Scott Kazmir (15-day DL – back) for the second time in a week, in what was probably his final Extended Spring Training rehab outing. Kazmir threw 5.1 IP (75 pitches), allowing one run (earned) on three hits, a walk, and two HBP, with two strikeouts and a 7/6 GO/FO.
The Cubs scored their only run off Kazmir in the bottom of the second. Yaniel Cabezas led-off with a single, Jose Valdez was hit by a pitch, and Dustin Harrington singled sharply to CF to load the bases with no outs. Pin-Chieh Chen then grounded into a 4-6 FC that scored Cabezas from 3rd.
The Cubs scored what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the 6th (after Kazmir had left the game). Cabezas doubled to RF with one out, moved-up to 3rd base on a ground out, and scored on a Dustin Harrington RBI single.
While one squad of EXST Cubs played the Angels at Fitch Park, the other squad traveled to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort to play the EXST Rockies. Unfortunately, I am unable to provide a report on the EXST Cubs road game, since the two games were played simultaneously ten miles apart. (To get enough innings for all of the pitchers at Extended Spring Training, the Cubs are scheduling EXST split squad road game/home game dates several times this Spring).
Here is today’s abridged box score for the game at Fitch Park (Cubs players only):
1. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 0-5 (1-U, 6-3, 6-3, 3-U, E-4)
2. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-4 (E-1, BB, 4-3, L-7, 1B)
3a. Chad Noble, C: 0-3 (F-9, F-9, K)
3b. Reggie Golden, PH: 0-0 (HBP)
3c. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 5th TIME THROUGH ORDER
4a. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-4 (L-8, 1B, K, 6-4 FC)
4b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 5th TIME THROUGH ORDER
5. Yaniel Cabezas, DH-C: 3-5 (1B, L-9, 2B, 1B, 6-4-3 DP, 2 R)
6. Jose Valdez, LF: 0-3 (HBP, F-9, 4-3, K)
7. Dustin Harrington, 3B: 2-3 (1B, HBP, 1B, F-9, RBI)
8. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-4 (4-6 FC, 6-4 FC, 4-3, K, RBI, CS)
9. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-4 (P-5, 6-3, 3-1, 6-3)
1. Austin Reed: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 35 pitches (22 strikes), 5/2 GO/FO
2. Luis Liria: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 37 pitches (23 strikes), 0/5 GO/FO
3. Amaury Paulino: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 29 pitches (17 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Willengton Cruz: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 32 pitches (19 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
Yaniel Cabezas: 2-2 CS
RF Jesus Morelli threw out runner 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on single to RF
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s