The Cubs were at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale to take on Kris Bryant — remember him? — and the Colorado Rockies on Sunday afternoon. Chicago finally got a bad performance from one of their starting pitchers, but they were able to stage a 9th inning comeback and win again.
Bryant greeted Drew Smyly with a long solo home run in the 1st inning to put the Rox ahead. Elias Diaz singled home another run but David Bote got one back with an RBI double in the 2nd. Ryan McMahon blasted another homer to put Colorado up 3-1 in the 3rd.
Trey Mancini went deep in the 4th inning to cut the lead to one, then Ian Happ followed with a run-scoring single to tie the game in the next frame. Things stayed there until the bottom of the 8th inning, when the Rockies scored two runs to take a 5-3 advantage.
The Cubs’ young players rallied back in the 9th to score three and take the lead. Pete Crow-Armstrong and Brennen Davis got on with hits, then Darius Hill, Andy Weber, and Esteban Quiroz had consecutive singles to put Chicago ahead for good. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
The players out of minor-league camp did not give up in the 9th and rallied back to win.
Stats That Matter
- Smyly got hit pretty hard for the second consecutive spring appearance. With the Cubs’ improved pitching depth, he is not guaranteed a spot in the starting rotation.
- Mancini looks very locked in at the plate right now.
- Nick Madrigal had two more hits on Sunday.
- Left-hander Brandon Hughes looked good in an inning of work.
As is always the case in spring training, the actual outcome of the game doesn’t matter. Bote is making a real push for a role on this team. On the other side of the coin, Smyly is giving other starting pitching candidates a chance to take advantage of his struggles.
The Cubs return to the site of their no-hitter in Peoria Monday, this time to battle the Seattle Mariners at 2:05pm CT. Hayden Wesneski makes the start in a contest airing on Marquee.