The Cubs visited the Indians in a split-squad night matchup at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear ahead of the final week of spring camp. Most of the Cubs’ regulars stayed in Mesa for the afternoon game against the Rangers, so the starting lineup was filled out by minor-league prospects. Indians ace Corey Kluber took the hill against Cubs farmhand Duane Underwood Jr.
Kluber’s control was shaky in the opening inning as he allowed two runs. He settled in afterwards, however, and the Cubs were unable to do any further damage against him. Underwood did not last beyond the 1st inning, and the first six Cleveland batters reached in a nightmarish five-run 2nd inning that would lift their team to victory. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The young Cubs committed three errors to Cleveland’s one, allowing the Indians to take the lead in the 2nd inning, and Kluber regained control after giving up two runs in the 1st.
With runners at second and third and no outs, Brayan Rocchio reached on a fielding error by Ian Happ, scoring Roberto Pérez to give Cleveland a 3-2 lead. Cleveland would score three more times in the inning to take a decisive 6-2 lead.
Stats that Matter
- Kluber allowed 2 runs on 4 hits in 5.1 IP with 1 BB and 7 Ks.
- The Cubs committed 3 errors along with one balk by Mike Zagurski in the 2nd inning.
- 18-year-old Cleveland prospect Rocchio went 2-for-4 with 1 R, 1 RBI and 1 K in his spring debut.
- Johnny Field hit his fourth homer for the Cubs in Cactus League play.
The Cubs were able to get on the board early, but the ineffectiveness of Underwood and Zagurski, along with the key error committed by Happ, would prove to be costly.
The final week of spring games begins Saturday night against the Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale at 8:40pm CT. Opening Day starter Jon Lester will take the ball for the Cubs, while the Rox have not named a probable starter.