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Cubs 4, White Sox 4: There is a tie in the lives of men

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A former Cubs prospect put on a power show.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

MESA, Arizona — You knew, just knew, that when Eloy Jimenez was sent up to pinch-hit in the eighth inning at Sloan Park, that he wanted to show the Cubs and Cubs fans what they traded away.

You knew he wanted to send the ball out of the ballpark.

And, with a runner on base and two out, he did just that:

Jimenez’s blast to right-center gave the White Sox a 4-3 lead, but Cubs minor league catcher Cael Brockmeyer matched that in the bottom of the ninth:

That homer, off Rob Scahill, tied the game 4-4, and that’s where it ended, the Cubs’ third tie game of the spring (they’ve yet to lose a home game, with a 7-0-3 record at Sloan Park).

Jimenez, I think, is going to be a star player. He looks even bigger than he did when he played in spring games for the Cubs last year; he’s 21 and likely starts this year at Double-A, with a possible promotion to Triple-A by midseason if he’s doing well there. I doubt the Sox promote him to the big leagues this year, but next year he could break into their lineup.

And I’d still make that trade 100 times out of 100. The Cubs received 3½ years of a really good major-league starting pitcher at an extremely reasonable cost in the deal, and if they win at least one World Series while Jose Quintana is on the staff, the deal is totally worth it.

The Sox played most of their Opening Day lineup for most of the game; the regulars for Rick Renteria didn’t depart until the seventh or eighth inning. Meanwhile, Joe Maddon continues to pull his regulars in the fifth or sixth.

Kyle Hendricks pitched into the fifth inning, and his changeup looked sharp in this one. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out seven, and was charged with two runs, one of which scored after he departed following a leadoff double by Adam Engel in the fifth.

The Cubs had another homer of their own, this leadoff shot in the third inning by Victor Caratini:

The homer was Caratini’s first of the spring, and he also walked. That gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead; the two runs off Hendricks put the Sox ahead until this RBI single by Tommy La Stella in the sixth tied it:

The Sox had a chance to take the lead in the top of he seventh. A single and two walks off Michael Roth loaded the bases with two out. Nicky Delmonico smashed a line drive that appeared headed to the right-field corner, but Ryan Court made this excellent snag [VIDEO] to end the inning.

Court remained in session the bottom of the inning; he drew a walk, went to third on a single by Jason Vosler and scored on a wild pitch that gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead, which stood until Jimenez’ homer, which is where we came into this recap.

It started raining lightly in the fifth inning and the intensity increased an inning or so later, hard enough that five grounds-crew members took the cover off the tarp. But that’s as far as any movement to hold up the game went, and the teams played through the light rain which continued until the teams completed nine innings in a tie.

Attendance watch: Saturday’s sellout of 15,508 was the biggest crowd of the spring to date. It brought the season total to 127,644 for 10 home dates, or 12,764 per date.

There’s another game coming up soon, weather permitting, as the other split squad of Cubs will face the Dodgers at 8:05 p.m. CT. Luke Farrell will start for the Cubs and Rich Hill for the Dodgers. Audio coverage is on and there will be TV via the Dodgers network SportsNet LA available on I’ll have a game preview with lineups, etc. for that game posted here at 7 p.m. CT.

Sunday, the Cubs return to their former home at HoHoKam Stadium to face the Athletics. Yu Darvish will go for the Cubs and Sean Manaea for the A’s. No TV for Sunday, radio coverage on 670 The Score. A reminder that with most of you going on Daylight Saving time overnight tonight, Arizona will be two hours behind Chicago; Sunday’s game begins at 3:05 p.m. CT.