Jake Arrieta struggles, but bats lead Cubs to 7-5 win


Final. 5. 71. 7. 9

Jake Arrieta had a rough day on the mound as did Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy – but it was the Chicago Cubs’ bats that would get the better of the Dodgers pitchers, winning today’s game 7-5.

The second inning would supply the bulk of the offense for both clubs, as the teams combined for eight tallies.  In the top of the inning, the Cubs would get three consecutive hits – a double by David Ross, single by Addison Russell and a two-run double by Albert Almora put the Cubs up three-zip.  Later on in the frame, Chris Coghlan hit a two-run homer to make it 5-0 Chicago.

The Dodgers would charge back at their half of the second.  Andre Ethier doubled in Howie Kendrick for the team’s first run.  Ethier would move over to third after a wild pitch by Arrieta.  Not settled after that – the Cubs pitcher would walk Juan Uribe.  The next batter, prospect Joc Pederson, didn’t waste any time – taking the first pitch he saw into the stands for a three-run home run.

The Cubs got on the board first with the help of Arismendy Alcantara‘s one-out triple to right field.  Anthony Rizzo brought him in on a ground out to first base, giving the Cubs the 1-0 lead in the top of the first.

A scoreless third frame in the books – the two teams would trade runs again in the fourth.  The Cubs would add a run with a pair of sacrifices bringing in Almora – who doubled to start the fourth.

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Arrieta would allow the Dodgers to strike back.  A pair of hits would put two runners in scoring position for Jimmy Rollins who would strikeout swinging but a wild pitch would allow Uribe to score, now getting the Dodgers back to a one-run deficit.

The score would remain there until the top of the seventh when Almora would score on a Jorge Soler line-drive single to right, accounting for the Cubs’ final tally of the game.

The Dodgers would threaten twice with a double in both the eighth and ninth, but Cubs’ relievers would shut the door both times keeping the game and the win for the Cubs by the score of 7-5.

What Stood Out:  

Albert Almora had an excellent game going 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs batted in and two runs scored.  The young center fielder is having a great spring as he continues his ascent toward Chicago.

Strikeouts, however, were again a problem for the Cubs as a team – racking up 10 more in today’s game.

Arrieta did get the win but again had trouble with his control.  The Cubs starter gave up five runs on seven hits in his four innings of work.  As noted, though, he still racked up five strikeouts in the minimal action.

The Cubs relief combo of Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon were excellent again, both striking out two in one inning of work each.

What’s Next:  

Edwin Jackson (1-1) looks to continue his campaign for the fifth starting job as he and the Cubs (7-9) visit Rubby De La Rosa (0-1) the Arizona Diamondbacks (9-6).  This will be the first of three meetings the two teams will have this spring.

Jackson will need to bring his best to keep up with Travis Wood in the battle for the final spot in the starting rotation.  He will have his work cut out for him going up against Paul Goldschmidt, Mark Trumbo and company.

Trumbo having a nice spring for Arizona batting .318 with two home runs and five runs batted in.

De La Rosa is right now penciled into the starting rotation for Arizona but the young right-handed pitcher will still want to go out and have a good showing against a hot hitting Cubs team.

Tomorrow night’s game between the Cubs and Diamondbacks will be at Salt River Fields.  First pitch is scheduled for 8:40 p.m. CT