The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians played to a 1-1 tie at Sloan Park in Mesa Sunday in a rematch of the 2016 World Series.
Limiting the reigning American League champion Indians to just three hits, the Chicago Cubs’ pitching was spot-on Sunday, but the bats came up short for Joe Maddon‘s club.
For the second-straight day, however, Matt Szczur drove in a run, giving him three runs batted in across the first two games of the spring. The Cubs outfielder grounded a ball to the left of shortstop and Albert Almora Jr. scored from third to tie the game 1-1.
In the top of the fourth, Carlos Santana delivered an RBI groundout to give Cleveland an early advantage against right-hander Casey Kelly. Chicago used eight pitchers on the afternoon, with only starter Jake Buchanan tossing multiple frames.
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The big story for Chicago Cubs fans was the Sloan Park debut of top prospect Eloy Jimenez, who went 1-for-2 with a single.
Javier Baez was in midseason form for Chicago, making a sterling defensive play ranging up the middle to take away a base hit in the middle innings.
What Stood Out
For the second-straight day in Mesa, the Chicago pitching staff was on top of its game, dominating the opposing lineup.
No player on either team managed more than one hit in the game. Cleveland went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position. Chicago, meanwhile, went 2-for-7.
Jason Heyward led off for the second-straight day. He went 0-for-2 with a walk and remains hitless on the spring. The outfielder was also caught stealing in the bottom of the first.
Chicago (1-1-1) will take on the crosstown rival Chicago White Sox (0-1) Monday at Sloan Park at 2:05 p.m. CT.