Junior Lake homers again, Cubs fall 8-4 to Angels


Mar 25, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Junior Lake (21) hits against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning at HoHoKam Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs were in split squad action today, with their first game coming against the Los Angeles Angels as Cactus League play continued.

Left handed starter Tsuyoshi Wada picked up the start against Albert Pujols and company in hopes of improving his Spring Training numbers. Los Angeles struck first in the top of the very first inning after Pujols recorded a sacrifice fly, plating Kole Calhoun to make it 1-0 early on. Fast forward to the bottom of the second inning after the Cubs were unable to respond during the bottom of the first, when Darwin Barney was able to make it a 1-1 game after hitting an RBI single to left field.

The Cubs took a 2-1 lead shortly after as Dan Vogelbach scored on a force out by Albert Almora. Veteran outfielder Raul Ibanez launched his first home run of the Spring and as a member of the Angels organization, tying the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth inning. This would be Wada’s final inning, as he would be replaced by right hander Pedro Strop. Wada finished four innings of work, giving up four hits, charged with two earned runs, walking two batters but struck out three. His ERA would drop from 11.12 to 8.38.

Left fielder Junior Lake helped his team regain the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning after hitting his fourth home run of the Spring. Lake is coming off a huge three home run game against the Oakland Athletics, were he went back to back with third baseman Luis Valbuena not only once, but twice. Cubs would add their final run of the game against the Angels during the bottom of the seventh on a single by Zeke DeVoss, making it a 4-2 game.

The Cubs had the opportunity to shut the door on the Angels in the ninth inning, but were unable to do so. Right handed pitcher Alberto Cabrera entered the game for the Cubs in hopes of picking up a save. The Angels had something else in mind. Cabrera was absolutely hammered by the Angels lineup, as he was tagged with five earned runs off four hits after being replaced by Frank Batista.

The Angels started inching closer after former Chicago Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart hit his first home run of the Spring to right field, making it a 4-3 game. Collin Cowgill shot an RBI double to left field to drive in Grant Green to tie it up at 4-4. Shawn O’Malley gave the Angels a 5-4 on a single to center field, Collin Cowgill would come around to score.

Abel Baker would help extend the lead to 7-4 on a fly ball to center field, driving in teammates J.B. Shuck and Brennan Boesch. Ian Stewart would come up to the plate after hitting a home run just a little while ago. Stewart would extend the lead to 8-4 after picking up his second RBI of the inning on a single to left field, driving in O’Malley.

Lefty Robert Carson would slam the door on the Cubs in the bottom of the ninth to lock up the victory for the Angels.

Today’s winning pitcher is Corey Rasmus who improves to 2-0, 1.46 ERA. Taking the loss today was Alberto Cabrera who is now 0-1 on the Spring with an ERA of 5.79.

Cubs drop to 12-17, while the Angels remain in third place with a record of 16-10.