Cubs fall to Reds 8-4
Cubs were no-hit through seven innings before Eloy Jimenez launched a bomb over the left field fence. Yasiel Balaguert added a three-run blast in the eighth to round out the Cubs scoring. Balaguert set a Myrtle Beach franchise record last season with 96 RBI and hit 19 homers, best among Cubs minor leaguers. Other prospects playing on Friday were Jacob Hannemann (0-for-1), Albert Almora (0-3), John Andreoli (0-1), Ian Happ (0-1), Chesny Young (0-1, R), Taylor Davis (1-1, 1R). Former Cub Arismendy Alcantara, claimed off waivers by the Reds back in October, was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
LH Mike Montgomery, in line as the fifth starter, made his second start of the spring and fanned the side, but not before allowing an unearned run on a single, a two-base error by Almora and another hit. He only went one inning. After a scoreless second, RH Aaron Brooks struggled in the third, allowing thee hits to load the bases and then hit a pair of batters to force in two runs. RH Dallas Beeler hit the third batter of the frame to make it 4-0, walked in a run, and the Reds made it 6-0 on a RBI groundout. Casey Kelly tossed two innings in his second appearance, allowing a run on two hits and a walk with two punchouts. RH Maikel Cleto pitched a 1-2-3 sixth. LH Brian Duensing was greeted with a solo homer to start the seventh and finished the frame without any more damage. Right-handers Jim Henderson and Jordan Pries both threw a scoreless inning.
Kyle Hendricks sees his first mound action since the World Series when the Cubs host the Dodgers at Sloan Park on Saturday. Jon Lester is scheduled to start on Sunday against the Rangers, Jake Arrieta will go Monday against D-Backs and John Lackey makes his spring debut March 7 against Team Italy.
Sands has surgery
Cubs left-handed pitching prospect Carson Sands had surgery on March 1 to remove bone spurs from his pitching arm. Typical recovery time for the procedure is six weeks of exercise and strengthening, followed by a throwing program. He should be good to go sometime in May. The Cubs fourth-round in 2014, the 21-year-old went 7-4 with a 5.91 WERA in 21 games for South Bend last year, tossing 74.2 innings while sporting a 1.62 WHIP.
South Bend ticket sales
The SB-Cubs have announced they are offering Opening Day VIP special packages on April 8 against the West Michigan Whitecaps. For $35, fans get a ticket to the Budweiser Picnic Garden, a two hour all-you-can eat buffet, two drink vouchers and a ’47 brand hat. The VIP packages go on sale at 10 a.m. EST on March 6. Individual game tickets for all home games got on sale March 8 at 10 a.m. EST. Complete details here.