Third base prospect Kris Bryant put his power on display against Felix Hernandez and the Mariners – launching a pair of two-run shots in back-to-back at-bats as the Cubs beat the Mariners by the score of 12-10, Saturday afternoon.
Bryant’s seventh home run of the spring and first two-run home run came during the bottom of the first inning with King Felix on the mound. His second would come in his next at-bat midway through the fourth putting the Cubs (9-10) ahead 10-5 following a Welington Castillo solo blast to right field.
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With Rizzo standing on second, Russell hammered the third pitch of the at-bat to deep left-center – his first homer of the spring making it a 6-3 Cubs lead.
Seattle (8-8) cut Chicago’s lead down to just two after plating three in the third inning off Eric Jokisch. Jokisch (0-0, 4.50 ERA), who filled in for Jon Lester, gave up a game tying solo home run to Nelson Cruz. He would exit after three innings as he was tagged for three earned on three hits while issuing one walk and striking out two.
Aside from Bryant and Russell going deep during today’s contest, one of the games highlights came during the top of the eighth inning. Mariner’s outfielder Austin Wilson recorded a three run inside the park home run after center fielder Junior Lake attempted to make a diving play. The ball appeared to hook just a tad to the right of his glove and ended up rolling all the way to the fence.
Not sure how Joe Maddon reacted, but I’m almost positive he wasn’t pleased with the play.
What Stood Out:
Kris Bryant is great. We all know that, right? After his second two-run shot of the afternoon, Bryant brought his spring training totals to eight home runs, 14 RBIs, two doubles and a batting line of .480/.552/1.520.
With the next wave of cuts expected to happen any day, we’re still expecting him to begin the year with the Triple-A affiliate in Iowa. I know some Cubs fans will be unhappy with the front-office decision, but it is their decision. There’s no need to worry about the fate of the Chicago Cubs in 2015 as he’ll more than likely miss the first two or three weeks of the season.
This is a business and once Bryant is finally in the majors, business is going to be good.
Hammel (1-1, 6.00 ERA) is coming off a solid outing as he pitched four scoreless frames against the American League champions Kansas City Royals. Prior to his shutout against the Royals, Hammel was hammered for a total of six earned runs against the Angels and Rockies over his first two starts of the spring.
Shields (1-1, 3.86 ERA) – who nearly signed with the Cubs during the off-season – is looking to bounce back from his most recent outing against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brew Crew forced him out of the game after three frames, driving in four runs (three earned) with a home run.
Tomorrow’s ballgame will be aired on CSN and MLB Network (delayed) with the first pitch scheduled for 3:05 pm central time.