It started right away in the bottom of the first inning — but first, Eric Sogard started this slick double play [VIDEO] in the top of the inning.
Then, the Cubs started their home run barrage. Sogard and Jake Marisnick went back-to-back [VIDEO].
The Reds scored a run off Alec Mills in the second, and could have had more except for a nice caught-stealing at the plate executed by Sogard and P.J. Higgins.
Then the Cubs extended their lead in the third. Marisnick singled and took second on a throwing error and Anthony Rizzo walked.
Overall, Mills threw pretty well, allowing three runs in 4⅓ innings. He allowed a two-run homer to Kyle Farmer that was windblown in the fourth, otherwise he’d have gotten out of the fifth with minimal trouble.
In the bottom of the sixth, Bote struck again with Patrick Wisdom on first [VIDEO].
That one also had some help from the wind, which started blowing out strongly to right-center about two innings into the game:
Bote’s a hot hitter:
Over the last week, David Bote is 6-for-10 with 2 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI and 5 R.— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) March 21, 2021
He now has a 1.212 OPS this spring
Marisnick went 2-for-3 and is now 5-for-11 this spring with three home runs.
The other thing that’s worth noting here is the outing from Dillon Maples. It wasn’t nearly as good as his near-immaculate inning against Cleveland last week, but it could have been better with some help from his defense. Maples put two runners on with a walk and a hit batter and then he induced a double-play ball... except Abiatal Avelino, a minor leaguer who’s not going to make this team, threw it away. A run scored. Maples later induced another double-play ball to end the inning, and was allowed a second inning of work. He issued another walk, but again got a double-play ball that finished the seventh.
So... he’s doing fine at getting double-play balls, if they can be turned. Two walks and a hit batter isn’t good, though. Maples is getting a lot of game action because David Ross and the brass have a decision to make.
Personally, I hope they keep him. I think he’s thisclose to becoming a solid MLB reliever.
The Cubs will travel to Tempe to face the Angels Monday afternoon. Keegan Thompson will get the start for the Cubs. It’s Kyle Hendricks’ turn in the rotation, I suspect Hendricks will throw an intrasquad game at Sloan Park. Griffin Canning will start for the Angels. Game time is 3:10 p.m. CT. TV coverage will be via the Angels channel Fox Sports West.