Russell homers again but Cubs lose 7-5 to Angels in spring tilt

SHARE Russell homers again but Cubs lose 7-5 to Angels in spring tilt
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Addison Russell, shown here after hitting a home run Monday against the White Sox, did it again Tuesday against the Angels.

MESA, Ariz. –The Angels took the lead with a four-run sixth against non-roster righty Maikel Cleto – who gave up five hits and a walk, threw a wild pitch and couldn’t finish the inning — and went on to beat the Cubs 7-5 Tuesday at Sloan Park.

It was the Cubs’ first game in three days that didn’t end in a tie.

Heyward watch

Cubs megabucks right fielder Jason Heyward, who reworked his swing after a poor offensive season, remains hitless in three games this spring (eight at-bats) after a groundout to short and fly balls to left and right.

“But he’s had a lot of really nice at-bats,” manager Joe Maddon said, “meaning I like where he’s starting, I like the way his hands are engaged, he’s on time. He just needs more at-bats in games. But he looks fine. He looks good.”

Power surge

Addison Russell slugged his second no-doubt-about-it homer in as many days, a three-run shot over the center field wall in the third inning.

The 23-year-old shortstop hit 21 homers last year, and Maddon expects that number to rise.

“He’s already powerful,” Maddon said. “He’s got these large hands, and he’s very strong. When a young guy like that starts understanding what he’s really doing up there, getting in better counts, not fouling his pitch off, as he gets more experience, that’s when you’re going to see more consistent power.”

D-peaters

Another day, another pair of web gems for the team Maddon expects so much from defensively that he wears a T-shirt around camp that says “D-Peat.”

Center fielder Albert Almora Jr. raced 30 yards in the third inning to run down a line drive at the wall, leaping and crashing as he made the catch (he’s OK).

Then in the fifth, shortstop Munenori Kawasaki followed an error with a diving play to his left, flipping from his glove as he rolled toward center to start an inning-ending double play.

On deck

Cubs at Royals, Surprise, Ariz., 2:05 p.m. (CT), cubs.com audio, Eddie Butler vs. Nathan Karns.


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