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Cubs strike early and silence the A’s, 6-1

Marcus Stroman and Cubs pitching staff prove to be too much for struggling Oakland A’s batters.

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s (2-2-1) visited Sloan Park to face the Chicago Cubs (2-4) and hoped to keep their scoring explosion going. Sadly, Marcus Stroman and Chicago had other plans. The veteran pitcher Marcus Stroman looked good in the first inning. He got into early trouble when he walked Tony Kemp and followed that by getting called for the balk on the next pitch. But he settled in and retired the next three A’s batters. He would have little problem with the Oakland lineup, moving forward.

JP Sears got the start for Oakland and looked shaky, giving up two consecutive hits early in the lineup before Elk Grove native Nick Madrigal ripped a two run double. The Cubs would end the inning with a 2-0 lead.

Stroman was back on the bump and picked up where he left off by striking out Ryan Noda. Shea Langeliers would get on base with a bloop single to centerfield. Stroman would strikeout Jace Peterson and surrender a opposite single to JJ Bleday. Esteury Ruiz would fly out to Cody Bellinger to end the inning. .

JP Sears entered the second inning and looked to have settled down by striking out Mike Tauchman and getting Nelson Velazquez to fly out to left field. McKinstry would end the inning with a fly out to Esteury Ruiz.

Marcus Stroman heads back into the game for the top of the 3rd inning and strikes out Tony Kemp for his fifth strikeout of the game. He would reach his pitch count and would be replaced by Bailey Horn (0-0 0.00). Stroman’s stat line would be (2.1 IP/2 H/ 4 SO/ 0 ER). The lefty Horn would surrender a single to Diaz and retire the next two Oakland batters by striking out Seth Brown and getting Jesus Aguilar to pop out to second baseman Nico Hoerner.

Sears came back out for the third and was looking to continue the success he had in the second. Unfortunately, a double by Nico Hoerner would lead to another charged run when Ian Happ ripped a single and scored the second baseman. Cody Bellinger would hit into a double play and Eric Hosmer would end the inning on a strikeout. JP Sears would leave the game with (3.0 IP/ 5 H/ 4 SO / 3 ER).

Michael Fullmer would takeover to start the fourth for Chicago. Fullmer wasted no time by striking out Ryan Noda and getting Shea Langeliers to ground out to the shortstop. He would walk Jace Peterson and get JJ Bleday to groundout to end the inning. The A’s offense is struggling, and they have yet to produce any runs.

Oakland lefty Jake Fishman enters the game in the bottom of the 4th and gives up a single to Nick Madrigal who promptly steals second on his first opportunity. Mike Tauchman would single to right field and score Madrigal to make it 4-0. The right fielder would steal second base with the Cubs only having one out. Fishman would catch Velasquez looking for out number two. Zach McKinstry flashes some clutch hitting and drives in Tauchman on a solid single to right field. Nico Hoerner would pop out to Tony Kemp end the inning. The Cubs plate two runs and extend their lead to 5-0.

The Cubs make a pitching change and Rowan Wick enters the game at the top of the fifth inning. Mike Tauchman continues his stellar play by snagging a sliding catch off Esteury Ruiz’s bat. Tony Kemp flies out to left fielder Ian Happ for the second out. Wick walks Aledmys Diaz and ends the inning with a strikeout of Seth Brown. The Oakland hitters have not shown up today.

Manager Mark Kotsay makes a pitching change and Sam Moll enters the game at the bottom of the 5th inning. The lefty saw action in fifty-three games last season and is looking to make an impression. His first batter faced would be Ian Happ and Moll would lose the count and walk Happ. Kevin Alcantara would come in as a pinch runner and is caught stealing 2nd base by catcher Shea Langeliers for the first out of the inning. Pete Crow-Armstrong would walk and ultimately steal second. A broken bat bloop by Eric Hosmer would ground out to the pitcher Sam Moll for the second out. Crow-Armstrong will advance to third. A wild pitch will score Crow-Armstrong. Nick Madrigal ends the inning on a fly out to Tony Kemp. The Cubs continue to add runs and lead Oakland 6-0. The A’s need to make something happen and start getting runners on base.

Left hander Anthony Kay has entered the game in the top of the 6th inning for the Chicago Cubs and gets Jesus Aguilar to ground out sharply to 2B Matt Mervis. Ryan Noda shows some life and rips a stand up double off the lefty Kay. Shea Langeliers flies out to right fielder Mike Tauchman for the second out. Jace Peterson goes down swinging and Oakland leaves a runner stranded on base. This has been a recurring theme for the green and gold. The A’s still trail the Cubs 6-0.

Domingo Acevedo replaces Sam Moll in the bottom of the 6th inning for the Oakland A’s. The righty makes quick work of the Cubs line and retires three straight by getting Tucker Barnhart to fly out to center, striking out Mike Tauchman and getting Yonathan Perlaza to ground out softly. So far it is the best inning an A’s pitcher has had in the game. The Cubs still lead 6-0.

Tyler Duffey enters the game for the Cubs. The righty strikes out JJ Bleday swinging, then hits Ruiz with an errant pitch. Logan Davidson strikes out on a foul tip with a runner on 1st. Max Muncy would single on a line drive and move the runner over before Tyler Soderstrom would line out to centerfield to end the inning. The A’s threaten but cannot plate a runner. The offense has been anemic and trail the Cubs 6-0.

Danny Jimenez enters the bottom of the 7th inning for Oakland and gets Zach McKinstry to strike out swinging. He inexplicably hits Jonah Bote and the batter takes his base. Kevin Alcantara grounds into a double play, led by third baseman Logan Davidson to end the inning. Dany Jimenez and Domingo Acevedo have looked impressive for Oakland. The A’s keep the Cubs off the board and the score is still 6-0 Chicago.

Julian Merryweather replaces Tyler Duffey for Chicago. The righty gets Kevin Cron to pop out to second base, then walks DH Tyler Wade on four straight pitches. David Bote makes a brilliant, backhanded stop to get Jonah Bride out at first base. Merryweather then strikes out Cal Stevenson to end the inning. The nightmare continues as Oakland fails to threaten with runners on base. The Cubs still lead 6-0.

The pitching carousel continues as righty Zach Jackson replaces Dany Jimenez for Oakland. Jackson walks Pete Crow-Armstrong on four straight pitches. A wild pitch to Matt Mervis advances Crow-Armstrong to second base. The righty Jackson comes back strong and strikes out Mervis swinging. Chace Strumpf walks, and Chicago has runners on first and second base with one out. Pete Crow-Armstrong is caught stealing third base and is thrown out by catcher Tyler Soderstrom for out two. Jackson strikes out Dom Nunez swinging to end the inning and keep the Cubs off the board. Chicago leads 6-0.

Ryan Borucki replaces Julian Merryweather to start the top of the ninth inning and gives up an extra base knock to Christian Pache who has a stand up double. Pache is out of options and is desperately trying to get his bat going and make an impact this spring. Borucki gets Denzel Clark to strike out swinging for out number one. The speedy Pache fails to advance on a passed ball. Logan Davidson lines out to leftfield and strands Pache on second. The A’s finally get on the board as Max Muncy rips a shot to left field and scores Pache for the RBI double. Sadly, that will be the only Oakland run of the game as Borucki strikes out Tyler Soderstrom on three pitches, the very next at bat. The Oakland A’s fall to the Chicago Cubs 6-1.

The A’s are going to struggle if the starting rotation is unable to keep the opposing batters off the board early in games. The coaching staff cannot rely on the young Oakland hitters to produce many runs in clutch situations, night after night. Mark Kotsay and his staff are going to need the middle and late relievers to step up and shut down opposing hitters late in games to give the offense a chance. The offense is just not good enough to overcome big early leads. The A’s finish the game with seven hits and leave eleven runners in base. That will not generate wins in the spring or once the season starts. Tomorrow is a new day and the A’s (2-3-1) play host to the Kansas City Royals (5-1) with Kyle Muller (1-0/ 0.00 ERA) taking the hill against Brad Keller (0-0 / 10.80 ERA). Hopefully the Green and Gold can get back on track and produce some much-needed runs.