While the baseball world is still abuzz from the incredible World Baseball Classic (WBC) Championship game last night, our A’s were back in action at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa to take on the Chicago Cubs. James Kaprielian took the mound after an impressive start Friday against the Giants.
The Cubs jumped out in front in the first on free agent acquisition Cody Bellinger’s solo homer to right field. Both teams were frustrated early on by double play balls; three in the first two innings.
Jesus Aguilar tied the score in the bottom of the fourth with a majestic homer to left field. It was his first homer this spring and his seventh RBI.
The Cubs looked like they may take the lead in the top of the fifth with two runners on and one out, but Shea Langeliers nailed Zack McKinstry attempting to steal third. Trey Mancini flied out deep to center to end the inning.
Kaprielian left in the fifth after facing just one batter. He continued his solid spring allowing two earned runs, four walks, four hits to go along with four strikeouts. Sam Moll replaced him and promptly gave up a two-run bomb to Edwin Rios, his fourth of the spring, that gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead.
Langeliers led off the seventh with a double. Alexander Campos ran for him and scored on a base hit by Esteury Ruiz. It was Ruiz’s 14th RBI of the spring. Campos’ run tightened the game to 3-2. Christopher Morel brought the lead back to two with a homer to left field off A’s righty reliever Drew Steckenrider. Morel gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead. Chad Smith finished off the 9th for the A’s, pitching a scoreless inning.
Lefty Eric Stout entered in the ninth for the Cubs to try to close out this game. Tyler Wade got things started for the A’s getting hit by Stout, but Kyle McCann grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Stout struck out Pedro Pineda to end the game at 4-2.
The final line score for the Cubs was 4 runs, 6 hits and no errors; for the A’s 2 runs, 8 hits and 1 error.
With only five games left in spring training, this will be the final meeting of these two clubs until April 17-19 when the Cubs visit the A’s in Oakland. The A’s will not make it out to play the Cubs in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field this season.
The Cubs are no strangers to Hohokam Park as it was their Spring Training Home from 1997-2013. The A’s moved in after a major refurbish project in 2015.
A final note on the WBC, A’s Minor Leaguer Miguel Romero earned as spot on the All-World Baseball Classic Team. Playing for Team Cuba, he led all pitchers with 13 strikeouts. He finished with a 2.08 ERA and an incredible 0.02 whip. It’s hard to imagine that his performance on the world stage did not catch the attention of the A’s leadership.