Cubs hang on, beat Dodgers 5-4


Mar 14, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; General view of Cubs Park during the fifth inning as the Chicago Cubs play a spring training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs have beaten the Los Angeles Dodgers by a score of 5-4 today in front of the largest crowd ever to gather at a Cactus League game, 15,191 people. The Cubs better their Cactus League record to 7-8 and the Dodgers, with only four games remaining before their transpacific flight to open the season against the Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia, fall to 5-9.

Kyle Hendricks led off on the mound today with an ERA of 3.38. He came into the game with an ERA of 5.40, with no decisions for 5 innings pitched and 6 strikeouts. Today he pitched three innings and had 4 K’s, including two back to back in the 2nd, for just one base on balls. Carlos Villanueva replaced him in the fourth where he gave up a run for his 2 strikeouts and 1 error. His ERA was 5.87. Jose Veras came in for the 7th and had a bunch of trouble on his hands as the Dodgers put 2 on the board in that inning and Veras chalked up two errors. Neil Ramirez came in for the 8th and had a clean inning allowing one hit. Alberto Cabrera came in to close and gave up a home run but threw three strikeouts.

Josh Beckett started the game for the Dodgers, and came in with one loss and a 9.0 ERA over five innings and three strikeouts this Cactus League. He went three innings and gave up only one hit.

The Dodgers drew first blood in the 5th with a Dee Gordon RBI triple. In the 6th inning Cubs bats got hot, with a two run jack by Luis Valbuena and a RBI by both Justin Ruggiano and Anthony Rizzo each. Darwin Barney had a day to forget, though, with two instances of grounding into a double play. The Dodgers picked up two more in the top of the 7th off of a Alex Guerrero double that scored AJ Ellis and Miguel Rojas.  They showed some real danger in the 9th, drawing the game to 5-4 after a one out Drew Butera solo blast.  It wasn’t enough and the Cubs held on to win.

The cubs play split squad tomorrow against the Mets and the Royals tomorrow at 3:05 PM CST. Jeff Samardzija will take the mound against the Royals after being named opening day starter today and Carlos Pimentel will throw against the Mets.