On Saturday afternoon, the Cubs traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona to visit the defending World Series champion Giants. Carlos Villanueva got the starter treatment and was stretched for three innings of work. He allowed a solo home run to Pablo Sandoval for the only run allowed during his stint. Unfortunately the Cubs pitching staff as a whole got roughed up throughout the game.
Barret Loux, whom the Cubs obtained from the Rangers after a pair of trades starting with the July deal to send Geo Soto to Texas, suffered the brunt of the Giants offensive outburst. Loux was tagged for four runs in his two innings of work. Jaye Chapman continued his recent struggles, after a good showing in his cup of coffee at the end of the 2012 regular season, allowing two runs himself.
The Cubs offense did not jump on the board out of the gate like they have been doing this Spring, but they did come on as the game went along, showing some comeback fight. A pair of catchers actually gave the North Siders a brief 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth. Dioner Navarro got the Cubs on the board with a two run single and third string back stop Steve Clevenger followed with a RBI single of his own. Clevenger actually got the start at first base and finished the day going 2 for 3 with a pair of RBI.
Feb 23, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger (51) prior to a game against the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Unfortunately for the Cubs, every time the offense clawed back into the game, the Giants would answer with runs right back. Brian Bogusevic was the only other Cub to collect more than one hit, going 2 for 2 with a pair of runs. The Cubs offense managed to collect 10 hits, but none of them came from the starting hitters from the top of the line up down to Alfonso Soriano in the five hole.
The Cubs have now dropped to .500 on the Spring with a 4-4 record.