MESA, AZ – The Chicago Cubs continued their Cactus League schedule on Monday afternoon with a home date with their crosstown rivals, the Chicago White Sox on Monday at Sloan Park in Mesa.
New Cubs starting pitcher Brett Anderson made his first start of the spring on Monday, throwing a relatively easy first inning against the White Sox, working around a lead-off single by White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson in the opening frame on Monday. Brett Anderson would retire the next three batters in his only inning of work on the day, and the Cubs would hold the White Sox scoreless until the fifth inning. Anderson had this to say after the game about his first outing with his new ball club,
“It was good to get back in a game and face some competition that’s not your own guys,” Anderson said. “Hopefully, now I can get used to being in a routine every five days and multiple outings.”
“The first [single hit by Anderson] was hit fairly decent but the rest of them were weak contact,” Anderson said. “Here lately, when I’ve been out there, I’m not a big strikeout guy, with this defense behind me, it’ll be an out more times than not”
The Cubs featured a never before seen combination at the top of the lineup on Monday, with Manager Joe Maddon placing Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo in the top three slots, followed by the cleanup hitter for the day, Ben Zobrist. The lineup looked good early on Monday as Schwarber and Bryant both opened the game with hard singles off of White Sox rookie Lucas Giolito, before Anthony Rizzo grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, and Ben Zobrist grounded out to Jose Abreu at first base, stranding Schwarber at third.
However, the Cubs wouldn’t stay off of the board much longer, as shortstop Addison Russell cracked a deep home run over the left-field fence off of Giolito to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead on the afternoon.
Willson Contreras also homered on the afternoon as well, coming against White Sox reliever Anthony Swarzak, and Cubs prospect Chesny Young added an RBI single in the seventh inning before the White Sox would tie the ballgame at four in the top of the eighth inning.
Young had an opportunity to give the Cubs the victory in the bottom of the ninth, as he stepped into the box with the winning run standing at third base, but White Sox reliever Omar Minaya struck him out for the final out of the ballgame. The game ended in a 4-4 tie, the Cubs second tie of the spring.
Cubs infielder Jemile Weeks had to leave the game on Monday after colliding with White Sox infielder Yolmer Sanchez in the top of the sixth inning, no word on Weeks’ status as of late Monday evening.
The Cubs are back in action on Tuesday as they take on the Los Angeles Angels at Sloan Park at 2:05 pm (CT). Alec Mills will make his spring debut for the Cubs on Tuesday, Mills was acquired from the Kansas City Royals earlier this month in exchange for outfield prospect Donnie Dewees.
Stay with The Loop Sports all spring long as we bring you frequent notes from Mesa, Cactus League game recaps and Analysis, and all of the deep analysis of the story-lines surrounding Spring Training 2017!