Cubs beat Mariners 16-12 in Cactus League play

Albert Almora Jr. went 3-for-3 with a homer and four RBI in the slugfest.

SHARE Cubs beat Mariners 16-12 in Cactus League play
Chicago Cubs v Seattle Mariners

Josh Phegley (center) is congratulated by Steven Souza Jr. (left) and Albert Almora Jr. after a three-run homer in the first.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

CUBS 16, MARINERS 12

The Cubs scored five times in the top of the first, led 13-4 in the fifth and held on to beat the Mariners at Peoria Stadium to improve to 2-1 in Cactus League play.

Flu Watch, Day 3: Manager David Ross still awaits his first actual game as a manager, missing the first three games of the Cactus League schedule with the flu. He was said to be improving and was able to go to the complex Monday and observe live batting practice during a low-key partial day of work. Bench coach Andy Green continued to handle game management in his place.

Masked man: Ross isn’t too sick to catch some grief from his players. Anthony Rizzo walked through the Cubs’ clubhouse Monday morning wearing a surgical mask, with a bat in his hand.

Catcher power: When Josh Phegley drove starter Marco Gonzalez’ final pitch of the day off the batter’s eye in center field tow two out and two on, he became the third Cubs starting catcher in as many spring games to homer.

Almora’s torrid start: Coming off a rough 2019 season that included a demotion to the minors, center fielder Albert Almora Jr. has started the spring 4-for-4 in his first two games with a walk, double and, on Monday, a two-run homer. He also delivered run-scoring singles in each of the first two innings.

Bryzzo from the top: The 1-2 combination of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo atop the Cubs’ order went 0-for-4 with a pair of walks. But the pair contributed to rallies that produced eight runs in the first two innings. Bryant fell behind in the count in the first before drawing a leadoff walk, and Rizzo grounded to the right side to move him over – before four of the next five batters reached base, culminating with Phegley’s homer. Bryant didn’t reach in the second, but Rizzo drew a one-out walk with a man on, which set the stage for a pair of RBI singles by Steven Souza Jr. and Almora.

Walk man: Javy Baez drew a walk during that first-inning rally – his second in as many games this spring (5 PAs). He had two walks in July.

On deck: Rockies at Cubs, Mesa, 2:05 p.m., Tuesday, MSN, Wes Parsons vs. Jon Lester.

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