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Chicago Cubs: Late inning rally spoils solid outing by Hendrick as Mariners walk-off in victory

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Mar 10, 2017; Peoria, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks (28) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at Peoria Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 10, 2017; Peoria, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks (28) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at Peoria Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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Solid pitching performance and offensive production are just what the Chicago Cubs needed. It was spoiled by a late inning rally as Mariners walk-off, 11-10.

9. Final. 11. 62. 10

After watching the pitching staff struggle, the performance of the Chicago Cubs on Friday comes as a breath of fresh air. Good pitching and solid hitting sparked the team for the first seven innings. That last two, however, saw a large lead crumble.

Kyle Hendricks took the mound for the Cubs and showed why he is a candidate for the NL Cy Young Award. Only two balls made it out of the infield. Still, one was a ground ball. After three innings, Hendricks threw 43 pitches, allowed one hit, struck out four. The other outs came via four grounders and one line drive to left.

Offensive Muscle

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Neither team scored for the first four innings, but the Cubs broke through first. In the top of the fifth, Chris Dominguez hit a two-run home run to right, scoring Elliot Soto. And, continuing his stellar Spring, Albert Almora tripled, pushing Jon Jay across the plate. The Cubs took a 3-0.

While the Mariners scratched out a run in the bottom of the fifth, the Cubs offense showed off again in the top of the sixth. After a single by Eloy Jimenez, who advanced to second on a wild pitch, Ian Happ doubled him home. Another double by Dominguez and a home run from Chesny Young gave extended the lead to 7-1.

Another run came across for the Mariners as Kyle Seager‘s RBI ground out plated Ben Gamel. However, a three-run homer by Happ extended the lead to 10-2 in the top of the seventh. They would need too large of a lead.

Bullpen issues

Seth Frankoff entered the game in the fourth inning, relieving Hendricks for the day. In three innings, Frankoff allowed two runs on six hits. All in all, a solid day’s work. But, in the seventh, the Cubs called on Dylan Floro to take the mound. Three singles, a sacrifice fly and a three-run home run pushed Floro from the game. The Cubs still lead 10-6 after David Berg closed the inning.

Berg would return for the eighth inning. A strikeout and a groundout to start the inning was promising. The Mariners had other ideas. A single by Rayder Ascanio was followed with an inside-the-park home run by Luis Liberato. Berg would finish the inning, but the score was 10-8.

The game then was given to Maikel Cleto. He was not able to save the victory. Joe DeCarlo opened the bottom of the ninth with a single and was lifted for Ian Miller. Miller would then steal second and score on a double by D. J. Peterson. A walk and a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out. A single by Shawn O’Malley gave the Mariners an 11-10 walk-off win.

Takeaways

While most of the everyday Cubs did not play, it is great to see a box score filled with numbers. Every player that started the game finished with at least one hit. Happ lead the team going 4-5, only needing a triple for the cycle. He also scored twice and knocked in four. Dominguez went 2-3,  with a double and a home run, scoring three.

Miguel Montero played six innings, going 1-4 with three strikeouts. However, he also threw out Gamel trying to steal in the fourth.

Next: Chicago Cubs’ youth staying hungry after championship

The offense from the Chicago Cubs is performing well, especially considering that many of the regulars in the line-up are not seeing action to a high degree. The team has scored 81 runs. Jason Heyward is still working on his swing and Almora is fighting for a starting spot. They have seen 20+ at-bats this Spring. Kris Bryant has 19.  Looking through the stats, most other regulars have 14 or less at-bats. Compare that to the team three hours south, in which all but one starter has 16 or more at-bats.

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