The Chicago Cubs defeated the cross-town rival Chicago White Sox 9-4 in Cactus League play on Friday. The Cubs scored 7 earned runs off of White Sox pitcher Clayton Richard in the 1st inning to set the tone for the game. Cubs 2nd baseman Aaron Miles went 3 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored. Alfonson Soriano and Derrek Lee each had 2 hits, 1 RBI and 1 run scored.
On the hill, Carlos Zambrano did more than enough to earn the victory. Big Z pitched 6 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. Zambrano also had 3 strikeouts. Luis Vizcaino pitched a scoreless inning of relief work. Zambrano had this to say about his outing and the Cubs 2009 season: “I don’t have to prove anything. I’ve been in the big leagues for eight years. They know what I’m capable of doing. Speaking of last year, it’s already in the past. The numbers were there; they stay in the past. This is a new year and I have to put up good numbers. I have to help this team. I’m just waiting for the season to rock and roll.” The Cubs are encouraged by Zambrano’s control this spring – he has given up only 5 walks in 18+ innings of work.
In relief for the White Sox, Bobby Jenks and Octavio Dotel each pitched scoreless innings.
Both Chicago clubs continue to tune up for the regular season. The Cubs are now 17-13 this spring, while the White Sox are 12-16-1.
For the Cubs, the big decisions will be who starts at 2nd base and who makes the team as the Cubs back-up catcher behind Geovany Soto.