After a 6-3 loss to the White Sox on Friday, the Cubs split squads for the weekend. Kyle Hendricks and Javy Báez led a group of Cubs farmhands against the Indians at Goodyear Ballpark in Arizona. The rest of the team headed to Las Vegas to play the Reds.
Hendricks was sharp outside of giving up a first-pitch bomb to Francisco Lindor, which forced the Cubs to come from behind against Cleveland, who held a 3-1 lead at one point in the top of the 7th inning. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
The Cubs’ youngsters came through with offense in the late innings, rallying for three runs to tie the game in the 7th and adding on in the 8th and 9th innings to hold off the home team.
With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 7th inning, Jharel Cotton allowed a leadoff single to Domingo Santana and then walked two more Cleveland hitters to load the bases with one out. Ernie Clement drove a fly ball to right field that looked like a sacrifice fly RBI opportunity, but Charcer Burks‘ strong throw to the plate held Alexis Pantoja at 3rd base. Cotton struck out Tyler Krieger to work out of the jam.
Cleveland pitcher Anthony Gose walked the first two batters in the top of the 8th, giving the Cubs a chance to take the lead. After Gose struck out Donnie Dewees and Miguel Amaya, Zach Davis hit a liner to left to drive in the go-ahead run.
Stats that Matter
- Hendricks had four strong innings, allowing just one run on Lindor’s homer, with four strikeouts. His spring ERA is 1.00.
- It was a big day for players named Zack or Zach. Zack Short‘s two-out blast to left tied the game in the 7th inning and Davis drove in the go-ahead run for the Cubs in the 8th described above.
- 5 of the Cubs’ 8 runs were driven in with two outs.
The Cubs’ offense was quiet until late in the game, but they were able to generate enough to take the lead and stay ahead despite less than stellar appearances from Cotton (2 ER on 4 H in 2.0 IP) and CD Pelham (2 ER on 3 H in 1.0 IP) out of the ‘pen.
The Cubs will have another split-squad card Sunday, with the first game at Sloan Park against the Diamondbacks at 3:05pm CT. José Quintana will take the ball for the home team against Jon Duplantier with ESPN Phoenix 620 on the radio call. The second game will be a second matchup against Cincy at Las Vegas Ballpark, with Colin Rea facing off against Vladimir Gutierrez. Fans will be able to catch the action on Marquee Sports Network.