The Cubs defeated the White Sox by a score of 10-7 today to improve to 8-10 on the spring.
Tommy La Stella and Arismendy Alcantara did some damage together hitting 1st and 2nd in the lineup today. La Stella went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored to bring his average up to .321. One of his hits was a triple that missed being a home run by about 2 feet.
Alcantara went 1 for 2 but reached base 2 more times via walks. His 1 hit was a HR to right-center that scored La Stella, who had just tripled. Alcantara is up to .269 and has really been locked in at the plate over the last week.
Albert Almora had 2 more hits today in 4 trips to the plate and probably could have had a 3rd hit if not for lightning reflexes from Dan Jennings, who put his glove up in just enough time to stop a ball ticketed for CF. Almora’s spring average now sits at .381.
Anthony Giansanti added some much needed insurance runs with a 2-run HR in the top of the 9th. It was just his 2nd AB and first hit of the spring, but it was big nonetheless. Taylor Teagarden also went deep in 9th.
David Ross had a good day both offensively and defensively; he hit his first spring HR, a 2-run opposite field shot to get the Cubs back within in one run after the Sox put up a 3 spot in their half of the first inning.
Jason Motte and Joe Ortiz each worked one scoreless inning of relief to keep the Cubs on pace for the victory.
Having to sit through the commentary of Stoney and Hawk was not a great experience, as their long moments of silence seemed to be in midseason form; several of them seemed to last at least 45 seconds. To CSN’s credit though, the two days without any commercials and team-focused interviews/segments was very entertaining.
Travis Wood was passable, but he gave up 11 hits in 4.1 innings of work with 4 earned runs, zero walks and 2 Ks. His spring ERA is still a respectable 3.77, but the contact he was giving up was loud and hard pretty much the entire start.
Zac Rosscup struggled in the 9th inning to close out the 5-run lead he was given. In his inning of work he gave up 2 runs (both earned) on 2 hits and 2 walks and was probably 1 more hit away from being replaced. Rosscup was outstanding the first few times out this spring, but has since fallen into bad habits (falling behind hitters, walks, etc).
The left-handed reliever race was neck and neck for a while, but now it looks like Phil Coke’s to lose with Joe Ortiz lurking on the outside.
The Cubs are back in action tomorrow against the Mariners at 3:05 PM (CST) in what was supposed to be a matchup between King Felix and Jon Lester, but Lester has been scratched with arm fatigue (not believed to be serious). Eric Jokisch will get the spot start in Lester’s absence.