Arismendy Alcantara still exists, he’s trying to work through a number of things at Iowa, and so far he’s had a pretty decent season. He smacked his first home run of the season yesterday.
Nothing was going right for the Cubs early on as Travis Wood couldn’t keep the ball down, and the Sox took advantage. A three spot for the Sox in the first put the Cubs in a hole but they successfully dug out with the long ball. On the day, the Cubs “B” lineup cracked four dingers, turning that 3-0 deficit into a 10-7 victory. Back to Wood, he worked in and out of trouble all day, he tossed 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on eleven (!) hits while walking none, and striking out two. Back to the dingers, David Ross, Arismendy Alcantara, Taylor Teagarden, and Anthony Giansanti all left the yard, tasty. It was another strong game from Albert Almora, no he didn’t take a lot of pitches, but finished the day 2-for-4 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .381 on the spring.
Solid pitching? Check. Just enough hitting? Check.
It seems simple, but the Cubs have played some solid baseball over the past 90 games (45-45 before tonight), and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down with their latest win in Cincinnati tonight, their fourth straight. Travis Wood found his 2013 magic against his former employer, he worked six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits, while walking one, and striking out five. The Cubs pen shut, no, slammed the door once again, as Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon were lights out. Wood picked up his eighth win of the season, and Rondon registered his 22nd save of the year.
Offensively the Cubs got started in the first, and that was all they needed. Anthony Rizzo hit an absolute bomb off of Cy Young candidate Johnny Cueto in the first, it was his 30th home run of the season, that’s impressive. Starlin Castro returned from the bereavement list tonight, and picked up right where he left off, he went 2-for-4 in the win. Arismendy Alcantara joined the fun late, as he blasted a two-run shot to give the Cubs some insurance in the seventh.
Get ready for Jorge Soler, he debuts tomorrow!
Note: Anthony Rizzo left the game late with some back tightness, he should be fine.