MESA, Arizona — Hayden Wesneski finally had a Spring Training line that didn’t look good — four runs allowed in 3⅓ innings, the first earned runs he’d allowed this spring.
Still, that line was largely because of one mistake — a three-run homer served up to J.D. Martinez. The fourth run scored because two Cubs minor leaguers stretched out the Dodgers fourth inning to eight runs, which was enough for L.A. to hold on for a 9-7 win over the Cubs on a gorgeous afternoon at Sloan Park.
The Cubs scored first, in the third inning. Nick Madrigal singled and stole second and advanced to third on a single by Matt Mervis.
Then there was the eight-run Dodger fourth, after which most of the Cubs MLB relievers threw quite well. Adbert Alzolay threw two scoreless innings. Rowan Wick allowed a run on a solo homer, and Anthony Kay and Julian Merryweather also threw scoreless frames. Merryweather was topping out at 97/98 miles per hour, and yes the guy throws hard, but often doesn’t have command, which is why he was available on waivers. There are some who say he should make the Opening Day bullpen, but I have my doubts.
Overall, Cubs pitchers struck out 17, which is good. Wesneski had six of those. They also issued six walks, which didn’t help matters any.
The Cubs did try to mount a comeback. Cody Bellinger doubled in two runs in the sixth with this standup triple [VIDEO].
There were lots of cheers for Bellinger from the Dodgers fans in attendance — and similar cheers, at least for his first at-bat, for former Cub Jason Heyward, who started in right field for L.A. in this one.
Anyway, Bellinger was driven in by Eric Hosmer’s sacrifice fly for the Cubs’ fourth run.
The Cubs put three more on the board after the starters were removed on a three-run homer by Jacob Wetzel, who played the last two years at Myrtle Beach and who will turn 23 later this month.
Matt Mervis returned from the World Baseball Classic and was the only Cub from the 40-man roster or official non-roster invitees to play the whole game. He went 3-for-4.
Attendance watch: Another sellout of 16,137 brought the season total for 11 dates to 147,314, or 13,392 per date.
Since I was at Sloan Park, I didn’t see the 4-4 Cubs/White Sox tie at Glendale. Here are a couple of highlights. All the Cubs runs came on long balls.
It should be noted that Gomes and Clevinger were teammates in Cleveland from 2016-18, so maybe Gomes has an idea of what Clevinger throws.
Edwin Rios, still in play for an Opening Day roster spot, hit a solo homer, also off Clevinger, in the fourth [VIDEO].
The game was the first tie for the Cubs this spring.
The Cubs travel to Scottsdale Stadium to play the Giants Saturday afternoon. Adrian Sampson will start for the Cubs and Anthony DeSclafani will go for San Francisco. Game time is 3:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network. There will also be a radio broadcast Saturday on 670 The Score.