Cactus League: Cubs at Brewers 3/22/13


Carlos Villanueva held division rival Milwaukee scoreless through six innings, only allowing five hits. None of the hits he allowed were of the extra base variety. It was his by far his best outing all Spring, and perfect timing as the Cubs ramp up for Opening Day next week. His bullpen pal Cory Wade would cost him the win by blowing the hold in the seventh frame, but the only thing Villanueva was hung up on post game was the lone walk he issued. You have to love that kind of attitude and it looks like the new Cub pitcher will not leave the rotation without a fight once Matt Garza and Scott Baker return from injuries.

The Cubs offense used some top of the ninth fireworks to get Wade off the hook and provide a dramatic finish. Darwin Barney hit a two run shot to put the Cubs ahead 3-1 and Dioner Navarro tacked on the insurance run with a homer of his own. David DeJesus continued his hot hitting from the top spot, going 2 for 3, and Starlin Castro looks like he is up to speed a week before Opening Day. Despite being sidelined by injury earlier in the month, Castro went 2 for 5. Him and DeJesus are looking to be a great one two punch at the top of the Cubs order.

Mar 7, 2013; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carlos Villanueva pitches during the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox at HoHoKam Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs improved to 14-15.