Cubs split pair of spring games, beating Indians in Arizona, losing to Reds in Las Vegas
Kyle Hendricks became the first Cubs pitcher to work four innings, allowing his first run of the spring.
REDS 8, CUBS 5
CUBS 8, INDIANS 5
The starting pitchers fared well in both ends of a split-squad doubleheader Saturday, but it couldn’t prevent a split as the Reds’ big sixth inning against reliever Rowan Wick helped send the Cubs to a loss in Las Vegas after they beat the Indians in Goodyear, Arizona.
Fifth-starter candidate Alec Mills pitched three scoreless innings against the Reds before a leadoff single, a stolen base and a two-out single produced a run in the fourth. In 3‰ innings, he allowed four hits, struck out three and got a painful swing-and-miss by Josh VanMeter on a 67 mph curveball. VanMeter was looked at by the trainer, stayed in the game and eventually flied to center. Mills started using that pitch in games last season.
Kyle Hendricks became the first Cubs pitcher to work four innings this spring. He allowed two hits, including a solo home run to the Indians’ Francisco Lindor. He struck out four and walked one and has allowed one run in nine innings spanning three starts this spring.
What stays in Vegas
Las Vegas native Kris Bryant, who plans to stay two days after this weekend series for an ultrasound appointment with his wife, was the focus of intense local media attention before the game and got rousing ovations each time he batted. He went 1-for-3 with a double past Alex Blandino at third base in the first.
Center-field candidate Ian Happ walked and doubled in three trips to the plate against the Reds. He is 10-for-20 with two homers, two walks and a .522 on-base percentage this spring. He also struggled in the field on a day teammates said it was hard to see the ball. He had trouble tracking a double that went over his head in the third and misplayed a ball into a triple in the sixth. Albert Almora Jr., the better defender, went 0-for-3 against the Indians and is 8-for-24 this spring.
Split squad: Cubs vs. Reds, Las Vegas, 3:05 p.m. Sunday, MSN, Colin Rea vs. Vladimir Gutierrez; Diamondbacks at Cubs, Mesa, 3:05 p.m. Sunday, Jon Duplantier vs. Jose Quintana.