The Athletics made the short trip from Hohokam Stadium, the Cubs’ old facility in Mesa, to Sloan Park for Thursday’s exhibition game. Not much happened early in the contest, as Kyle Hendricks and former Cub Brett Anderson pitched well in their brief starts.
The A’s finally pushed ahead in the top of the 5th on an RBI grounder. Kyle Schwarber doubled to kick off a Cubs rally in the bottom of the inning and Ryan Court hit a two-run single to give the home team a 2-1 lead.
Oakland jumped all over Jen-Ho Tseng in the top of the 6th inning and the righty allowed six runs on four hits and two walks in less than an inning of work. The A’s would add a few more runs in a relatively easy 10-3 victory. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The A’s jumped on a bad pitcher in the late innings, such is life in spring training baseball. Here’s hoping Tseng won’t be needed at the big league level in 2019.
Hendricks looked good in his season debut, generating a lot of groundballs. That is exactly what you want to see from the Professor.
Stats That Matter
- Ben Zobrist made his first appearance of the spring after missing a week for personal reasons. He went 0-for-2 as the DH.
- Jason Heyward also came back from a personal absence the last couple days. He had a sun-aided single in two at-bats.
- Schwarber walked and doubled in his two times up to bat. Looks like going back to his crouch has been going well so far.
- Brandon Kintzler, Brian Duensing, and George Kontos all made appearances in the game. Kintzler and Duensing had clean innings and Kontos allowed a run to score.
This was one of those spring games where nothing of any real importance happened. Keep an eye on the bullpen carousel since the Cubs brought in a ton of cheap options. Hopefully a couple will emerge to seize jobs.
The Cubs head to Scottsdale to play the Diamondbacks Friday at 2:05pm CT. Jose Quintana is the final member of the rotation to make his debut. The D-Backs are televising the game so check out mlb.tv for that or the Cubs audio feed.