Cubs rally against A's for another comeback win
|Wednesday, March 23, 2022, 8:54 PM- -|
Things haven't come easy over the last week, but the Cubs haven't lost since their first spring contests, an impressive feat, to say the least. A big reason for their success has been strong pitching throughout the spring, as has been their ability to play from behind and win late. On Wednesday, both those were on the forefront as the Cubs played from behind and then rallied late to top the Athletics 5-4.
Marcus Stroman was making his second start of the spring as he continued to get his work in before the start of the regular season. Although not as crisp as his first outing, Stroman was still strong on the bump allowing just two runs in two innings of work to go with three strikeouts. Stroman also walked a pair of hitters, but was able to limit the damage in what was a good outing.
He allowed the lone runs in the first two innings when former Cub Tony Kemp worked a leadoff walk. Kemp would then steal second on a strikeout and advanced to third on a throwing error by Willson Contreras. One pitch later saw, Sean Murphy rip a single to left field, bringing home Kemp for the 1-0 lead. Stroman would settle in nicely after returning the final five hitters he faced to end his outing positively.
Opposing Storman was Adam Oller, who gave the Athletics two innings of his own. Oller ran into some second inning trouble following a scoreless first as a leadoff walk to Ian Happ and a Clint Frazier double to put a pair of runners on with no outs. Two batters later saw Nico Hoerner cash in as he flipped his bat at an outside pitch and flared it into right field to tie things up 1-1.
Nico opposite field hit. Yes please pic.twitter.com/4qDiaD5sI1— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) March 23, 2022
The inning would end with a double play, but the Cubs still managed to tie things up 1-1. Murphy added a sacrifice fly off Stroman later in the game to give the A's a 2-1 lead.
Looking to pull even in the bottom of the third, Nick Madrigal worked a lead-off walk before hustling around the bases on the Jason Heyward triple to tie things up 2-2. Scott Effross came in to give the Cubs a scoreless inning before they turned to Mark Leiter Jr. Making his second appearance of the spring, Leiter Jr is hoping to make this team as he went 1 2/3 innings of work, allowing one run to go with three walks and three strikeouts.
That run he allowed came in the fifth when Elvis Andrus tripled home Kemp to put the A's up 3-2. Kemp was busy on the bases as he raced around to score three times in the game. As the game went on, Eric Stout gave the Cubs 1/3 of an inning while Rowan Wick made his first appearance giving the Cubs a scoreless inning of work.
With Jesse Chavez on to pitch the seventh, he not only gave up a leadoff double to open the frame but allowed an infield hit shortly after to put a pair of runners on base. Chavez managed to limit the damage after that, but the Christian Bethancourt RBI ground out saw the Athletics double their lead at 4-2. At this point in the game, the Cubs started to rally as they responded to that run with a big seventh-inning rally.
Jared Young was gifted a massive baserunner as he reached first base via a one-out error. One pitch later saw Delvin Zinn rip a double to left, putting a pair of runners on base and both in scoring position. Following a walk to Darius Hill to load the bases, Chase Strumpf kept the line moving as his single made things 4-3 and still kept the bases juiced. Still, with the bases loaded and Andy Weber at the plate, the Cubs would need just one more pitch to take the lead as Weber took the next pitch to center field, plating the go-ahead run for the 5-4 lead.
Looking to finish off the A's from here, Chavez came back out for his second inning of work and retired the side in order with a pair of strikeouts to go with it. Chicago wasted a golden opportunity in the bottom of the eighth when they put a couple of runners in scoring position with no outs, only to
come up empty.
Fortunately, the Cubs still had the lead as Cayne Ueckert was called on to pitch the ninth. Despite allowing a hit in that inning, Uekcker limited the damage as he struck outrun and, most importantly, kept the A's off the board as the Cubs won 5-4.