Cubs @ White Sox: Series Thread (Games 45 & 46)

The Cubs passed the quarter-way mark in their last series against the Reds, a series they opened with two wins and closed with two losses, including Thursday's 20-earned-runs-allowed blowout. A day off on Friday and a night sleeping in their hometown beds might help to press the reset button. They take on the Sox for two games this long weekend. See below for the matchups.

Ballesteros and Morfa Launch Cub Comeback at Riverview

Moises Ballesteros drilled an RBI single in the bottom of the first, singled and scored in the fourth, and belted a game-tying HR over the RF fence in the seventh, Carlos Morfa slugged a solo HR over the LF fence in the seventh and roped a double and scored in the eighth, Reivaj Garcia singled twice, walked, scored two runs, and drove-in three, and the bullpen retired nine of the last ten batters faced, as the Cubs raliied to score eight runs in the final two innings while holding the opposition scoreless, en route to a hard-fought 13-10 victory over the Diamondbacks Red squad in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Friday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

This was the third HR hit by Ballesteros in the last eight days, as he is now second on the EXST Cubs in HR with three (Cristian Hernandez has four, plus two more in intrasquad games). Over his last nine Cactus League EXST games (29 PA), Ballesteros is hitting a robust 480/552/960, with three HR, three doubles, four walks, and seven RBI.  

As outstanding as the bullpen was at the end of the game, two Cubs pitchers -- LHP Marino Santy and RHP Gleiber Morales -- combined to issue twelve walks, hit a batter, uncork five wild pitches, and commit two balks, as the D'backs took an early 9-5 lead. 

The Diamondbacks Red squad manager was thrown out of the game after arguing that an RBI double that drove-in a runner from 1st base was actually a ground-rule double that bounced off the warning track and then off the netting beyond the RF fence (and he was right, by the way). He then sat in the bleachers outside the first base side fence, until he was spotted by the base umpire and told to go sit in the bus. It was 105 degrees, so having to sit in an air-conditioned bus wasn't necessarily the worst punishment imaginable!   

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

In EXST Cubs news, catcher Dilan Granadillo is no longer switch-hitting, He is now batting LH-only.   

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

Cristian Hernandez Leads the Blue Charge at Riverview

Cristian Hernandez, Frank Hernandez, and Rafael Morel stroked consecutive RBI singles to highlight a three-run first inning for the Cubs "Blue" squad, and Miguel Pabon belted a solo HR over the left-centerfield fence to account for the lone run posted by the Cubs "Red" squad, as the "Blue" squad defeated the "Red" squad 3-1 in an Extended Spring Training four-inning intrasquad game played Thursday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Because all three pitchers who threw in the game were scheduled to work two innings, the "Red" team got an extra AB over what they ordinarily would have received, but they lost anyway 

Here is the box score frrom the game: 

Rockies Rock Cubs Boat at Riverview

Luis Paredes drilled an RBI double, singled twice, walked,and scored a run, Francisco Garcia doubled and scored, laced an RBI single, and collected another RBI on a bases-loaded walk, Cuba Bess slugged a solo HR, and SP Luis Urena (ex-MIA) and six reiievers combined to hurl a five-hit shutout, as the Rockies blanked the Cubs 9-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

South Bend RHP Zac Leigh continued his EXST rehab with a scoreless 1-2-3 nine-pitch inning, throwing nothing but his high octane 95-98 MPH FB. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHRP Angel Gonzalez (2020 NDFA - Puerto Rico) has been moved up to Myrtle Beach. Gonzalez features a 96-98 MPH FB that was up to 99 in his final EXST outing last week and a 87-89 MPH SL, and was projected to be the EXST Cubs closer if he hadn't been moved-up to the Pelicans.  

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

Cub Bats Go Nuts at Fitch Park

Cristian Hernandez blasted an opposite-field two-run HR over the RF fence in the third, singled and scored in the sixth, and drilled an RBI single in the eighth, Alejandro Rivero blooped an RBI double and scored in the second and belted an opposite-field two-run triple and scored in the fifth, Raino Coran hammered an RBI double into the LF corner and scored in the fourth and crushed a lead-off double off the LF fence and scored in the eighth, Brayan Altuve roped an RBI double and scored in the second and singled and scored in the fourth, Christian Olivo singled, stole a base, and scored a run in the third and cracked an RBI single in the fourth, and Dilan Granadillo laced two RBI singles, leading an 18-hit attack as the Cubs uploaded a 15-4 pasting of the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Monday morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.    

Nelson Beltran slugged a two-run HR in the bottom of the third and made a spectacular HR saving catch by leaping high and reaching over the LF fence to take back what would have been a Frank Hernandez four-bagger in the top of the seventh, and Lester Madden and Ramon Martinez ripped RBI doubles for the A's in a losing couse.  

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

With today's HR, Cristian Hernandez has now hit six home runs in 23 EXST games, including four in 19 Cactus League EXST games, and two in four EXST intrasquad games. Javier Baez holds the all-time EXST Cubs HR record. He hit eight in 26 Cactus League EXST games 2012. 

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

Cubs Bats Are Double-iscious at Riverview

Frank Hernandez, Dilan Granadillo, and Alejandro Rivero drilled RBI doubles and Moises Ballesteros singled twice, drew a walk, and scored a run, leading the Cubs to a 6-3 victory over the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Saturday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

The game was pre-planned as an eight-inning affair.

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

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