The Chicago Cubs got some early offense again, but a less than sharp Hector Rondon surrendered four runs in the sixth as the Cubs fell to the Astros, 8-6.
As the regular season draws near, it’s clear the Chicago Cubs offense is clicking on all cylinders. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning before continuing to outpace the Houston Astros until the sixth inning. That’s when the wheels came off for the Cubs bullpen, specifically one pitcher.
The Cubs (12-18-5) Addison Russell returned to the lineup and showed no effects from the bad back that’s kept him out. Russell was 2-for-3 including a two-run home run that helped push the Cubs out to an early lead.
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But the Astros (15-14-3) got home runs from Josh Reddick and Jose Altuve to stay within striking distance. But after an Anthony Rizzo solo shot in the fifth inning, the Cubs seemed to be on their way. Cubs starter Brett Anderson wasn’t overly impressive as he allowed three runs in five innings but left with the lead.
It was Hector Rondon (0-1, 14.73) who was the biggest concern for the Cubs. Rondon faced four batters in the sixth inning, as he allowed each of them to score. He exited the game after allowing a game-tying double to Evin Gattis, but Jhondaniel Medina allowed Gattis to score as the Astros went up 7-6.
The Cubs were just 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position as it was the long ball that helped produce a good portion of the offense tonight. But the Cubs hope that some of these numbers for the bullpen are an anomaly this spring, or changes will come quickly
to the pen.
The Cubs and Astros will face off again at Minute Maid Park tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. CT. The game will once again be carried on MLB and on the MLB.tv app.