Kevonte Mitchell doubled, walked twice, and drove-in a run and Erling Moreno and two relievers combined to hurl a four-hit shutout as the Cubs blanked the Rockies 3-0 on Field #4, and Chris Pieters singled, tripled and scored a run, Alex Bautista singled twice, stole a base, scored two runs, and knocked-in another, and Eric Gonzalez smacked a solo home run, leading the Cubs to a 6-3 victory over the Rockies on Field #5, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Alex Castellanos (ex-LAD) belted a two-run HR for the Rockies in a losing cause on Field #5.
The game on Field #4 was called by mutual consent after seven innings of play, and the game on Field #5 was called by mutual-consent after six innings of play.
Speedy waterbug Edgar Rondon laid-down a picture-perfect two-out squeeze-bunt hit to get the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the 2nd inning on Field #4, after practicing his bunting in pre-game BP. (I guess that's why they say "practice makes perfect").
Cubs outfielders Jose Gonzalez (knee or ankle injury after tripping over 1st base on two-run RBI single on Field #5) and Robert Garcia (hit on foot by pitch on Field #4) left their games with injuries.
RHSP Stephen Fife (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL with strained oblique since 4/15) made his final EXST rehab start, working four innings (81 pitches - 69% strikes). He was not particularly effective, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits (four singles, a triple, and the Castellanos two-run bomb). He also hit a batter, threw a WP, and struck out six, with a 3/3 GO/AO. His next start will likely be for the I-Cubs next Monday or Tuesday, but don't be surprised if he gets released sooner rather later.
RHRP Nick Sarianides made his Cubs debut, throwing a 1-2-3 inning (F-8, P-2, K). The 26-year old Sarianides was released by the Diamondbacks earlier this month after struggling to throw strikes at AA Mobile, but he led the Hi-A California League (an extreme hitters league) in both saves and strikeouts last season after being acquired by the D'backs from Tres Rivieres (Cam-Am League) in 2014. He was mentioned by Baseball America prior to last December's Rule 5 Draft as a likely candidate to get selected, although he was not. Sarianides features a 91-92 MPH fastball and a dive-bomb change-up (which is his strikeout pitch). He probably won't be at EXST very long, because he was in "game shape" when the Cubs signed him. He looked very good today.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
Francis Martinez smacked a bases-loaded bases-clearing three-run double, Ramon Hernandez belted a two-run double, and Gerard Hernandez drilled a two-run single, leading the Diamondbacks to a 7-3 victory over the Cubs on Field #5, and Fernery Ozuna ripped three singles, scored two runs, and drove-in another, Pedro Marquez hammered a two-run double and a single and scored a run, Chuck Taylor singled, doubled, walked, and scored two runs, and RHSP Luis Madera and three relievers combined to toss a five-hitter with ten strikeouts, helping the D'backs drub the Cubs 11-1 on Field #5, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.