Royals 5, Cubs 4: Another Day, Another Blown Lead

This was supposed to be a happy recap of a Cubs victory, led by Tyler Colvin, who played well at first base and went three-for-three with three RBI and hit a single, double and home run.

Instead, this is yet another loss, dropping the Cubs' spring record to 1-5, 5-4 to the Royals after John Gaub walked the bases loaded and then gave up a grand slam to 21-year-old KC prospect Eric Hosmer.

This is fine, actually. Gaub didn't have much of a chance to make the team and after an outing like this, that may make cutting him that much easier. And this is why losing this game, while not good, doesn't mean much -- these guys won't be there come April 1. Still, winning a few would feel better than losing.

Meanwhile, Matt Garza made his first start of the spring and was probably supposed to go three innings but had to leave after taking a line drive off his midsection. Instead, he was taken out after two, just before he was likely to bat. He made some comments later that indicated he was fine; in a regular season game he might have been allowed to continue, but there's no real need to do that in a game like this one.

Other than Gaub, the rest of the staff did pretty well, although Sean Marshall was touched up for the run that turned out to be the game-winner for the Royals. Kerry Wood threw a scoreless inning, as did Jeff Samardzija and Alberto Cabrera. For the Cubs, Starlin Castro went 1-for-3; his spring average stands at .583.

And for the first time this spring, the Cubs played an errorless game. (Cue the Hallelujah Chorus.)

Attendance watch: only 5,626 saw this game on a near-perfect, near-80 degree day. Other games in the Valley: Tempe, 5,103; Scottsdale, 8,857; Phoenix, 4,448; Peoria, 6,292; Goodyear, 2,529; and Salt River, 11,469. So some parks, particularly the two in Scottsdale (where Salt River is located), drew better today.

Tomorrow, Andrew Cashner will start for the Cubs as they face the Padres in Mesa. Randy Wells is also scheduled to go tomorrow. The Padres counter with Wade LeBlanc, followed by Simon Castro, Anthony Bass, Jeremy Hefner, Colt Hynes, Brad Brach and Aaron Poreda.

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