The Cubs headed to Scottsdale to play the Rockies in the Statcast-friendly confines of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. José Quintana made his spring debut, but it was Ian Happ who earned the attention for Chicago.
The switch-hitting center fielder blasted a solo homer to lead off the game, which helped to mitigate the early damage on the other side. Quintana struggled in the 1st inning, allowing several hard-hit balls. Two of them could have been caught, but Happ and Kyle Schwarber lost them in the Arizona sun and Nolan Arenado took advantage by crushing a two-run homer to cap the rough frame.
Happ singled home another run in the 2nd inning and Quintana had a clean bottom half to conclude his afternoon. Willson Contreras gave the Cubs the lead with a two-run knock in the 4th inning and they seemingly broke things open with several more runs in the 5th. Alas, the Rockies staged a late rally to earn a walk-off win. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Dakota Mekkes had a rough outing in the 9th and gave up five runs to earn the loss.
Donnie Dewees launched a three-run home run in the 5th inning to put the Cubs up 8-4.
Stats That Matter
- Quintana was a bit rusty early before settling down: 2 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 K, and 0 BB.
- Happ also walked and made a couple of nice diving catches.
- Steven Souza Jr. doubled and drew three walks in a perfect day at the plate.
- Nico Hoerner had three hits, including a double in four at-bats.
The Cubs outfield continues to have a very impressive spring, with Happ and Souza pacing the unit Tuesday.
Chicago heads to Goodyear to tangle with Nicholas Castellanos and the Reds at 2:10pm CT. Marquee Sports Network once again has the television coverage.