Shortly after veteran catcher Taylor Teagarden put the Cubs up 8-5 in the top of the ninth on a solo-blast, Giansanti drove in Chris Valaika with his first home run of the spring to left-center, extending the North Siders lead to 10-5.
Arismendy Alcantara took the third pitch of the at-bat from Matt Albers‘ deep to right-center, plating Tommy La Stella to break the 5-5 tie in the top of the seventh. He would finish the contest 1-2 with two walks and a strikeout to bring his average to .250 halfway through Spring Training.
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Although the Cubs (8-10) walked away with the win, the White Sox started off the game with three runs in the first inning off starting pitcher Travis Wood.
Wood (1-0, 3.77 ERA) allowed the White Sox to record 11 hits while surrendering four runs with two strikeouts in just 4 1/3 innings. After Travis was removed from the game, arms out of the bullpen held the White Sox to just four hits and three earned runs through 4 2/3 frames.
David Ross, who turned 38-years-old yesterday, slugged the Cubs’ first two-run shot of the day on the sixth pitch delivered by Hector Noesi. It was his first home run so far this pre-season, which brought his team within one of the Sox.
Just four innings after Ross brought his team within two, outfielder Junior Lake doubled on a fly ball to center field, pushing across both Tomma La Stella and Ryan Sweeney – tying things up at 4-4 in the top of the sixth. The Cubs would later take the 5-4 lead on a wild pitch by Jairo Asencio, allowing Lake to come around and touch home plate.
What Stood Out:
Leaving men on base appeared to be an issue with this club over the last couple weeks, but today wasn’t the case. After leaving dozens of men stranded and failing to push runners across in previous games, the Cubs managed to only leave four behind.
There’s only two weeks left before those who make the big league roster return to Chicago in preparation to take on the St. Louis Cardinals on Opening Night – so they’ll need to continue improving when it comes to capitalizing with guys on second and third. It’s almost a given that Ross (Lester’s favorite catcher from Boston) survives the spring and backs up Miguel Montero behind the dish.
In case you missed it, skipper Joe Maddon told reporters that Jon Lester wouldn’t make his next scheduled start on Saturday against the Seattle Mariners (due to ‘dead arm’. After Maddon made his announcement regarding Lester, it was revealed that left-hander Eric Jokisch would be the man to fill in for the southpaw.
Jokisch (0-0, 7.20 ERA) has been roughed up quite a bit this spring – giving up four earned runs off six hits, two of those being home runs with one walk and four strikeouts in five innings of work.
Starting opposite of Jokisch will be ‘King’ Felix Hernandez. Hernandez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) has only worked two innings so far this spring and has only recorded a single walk. He’s been eased into action thus far after logging in over 220+ innings in the last five of his six seasons.
Tomorrow’s first pitch has been scheduled for 3:05 pm central time.