Team Italy rallies past Cubs
Team Italy scored twice in the top of the ninth and beat the Cubs 8-7 on Tuesday at Sloan Park in an exhibition game. Team Italy opens play in the World Baseball Classic on March 9 against Mexico.
The Cubs scored six times in the bottom of the sixth to grab a 7-6 lead but RH Jake Buchanan yielded a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth. 1B Chris Dominguez smacked a three-run homer in the sixth and C Taylor Davis added a two-run blast. Other Cubs prospects seeing action were DH Alberto Mineo (0-1, R), 3B Jeimer Candelario (1-2, R, RBI), CF Jacob Hannemann (0-2, BB), 2B Ian Happ (0-3, R), SS Chesny Young (0-3), and Bijan Rademacher (0-1).
OF John Andreoli got the start for Italy and will play for them during the WBC. Andreoli went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and a walk. Some Cubs farmhands got to play for Italy as C Marcus Mastrobuoni was 0-for-1. RH Jonathan Martinez pitched a scoreless seventh and RH Daury Torrez got the final three outs for the save.
RH John Lackey made his first start and spring and blanked Team Italy over the first two frames. Reliever Pedro Strop didn’t have the same success as two walks and three hits ended Strop’s day before he could get out of the third, surrendering three runs. RH Dylan Floro came in and put out the fire, coaxing a double play to end the frame. Hector Rondon was charged with two runs (one earned) during his one-inning outing and Carl Edwards Jr. gave up a run in the fifth. LH Rob Zastryzny showed no effects of getting hit with a grounder his last time out, fanning four in two shutout innings.
World Baseball Classic
In Pool B play, Japan improved to 2-0 with a 4-1 win over Australia. Former Cubs minor leaguer Ryan Searle got out of a jam in the eighth but could only get two outs in the ninth, leaving with the bases loaded after two hits and a walk. The Netherland improved to 2-0 in Pool A with a 6-5 walk-off win over Chinese Taipei.