Chicago at Oakland

Chi. Cubs
W: S. Doolittle (2-0) L: J. Berken (0-1) S: M. Ekstrom (1)
HR: CHC - D. Sappelt (2),B. Lillibridge (1)   OAK - C. Young (1),J. Donaldson (2),A. Rosales (1),A. Rosales (2)

Athletics 12, Cubs 6


PHOENIX (AP) - Scott Baker was thrilled to be pitching in front of fans for the first time since having elbow-reconstruction surgery. He knows it could be quite some time before he's doing it on a regular basis.

Baker faced six batters in his first start since 2011, in a Chicago Cubs split squad's 12-6 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

"It was exciting. I threw some decent pitches, but I also was a bit jumpy and got the ball up," he said.

Baker had been a reliable starter after being taken by the Twins in the second round of the 2003 draft. He had a 63-48 record in seven seasons, and was Minnesota's opening day starter in 2010.

But after he missed all last season, the Minnesota Twins did not pick up the $9.25 million option on Baker's contract for 2013. The Cubs signed him as a free agent to a one-year deal in November for $5.5 million with another $1.5 million in performance bonuses.

Baker hopes to be ready to join the Cubs near the one-year anniversary of his surgery on April 17, but that possibility remains uncertain.

"There are plenty of guys who have come back in one year," he said. "That (decision to join the club) will be up to the medical staff. I made a step. That's what you have to do regardless of surgery. I want to be able to start every fifth day."

The A's hit four home runs overall, including two late-inning two run shots by Adam Rosales. Josh Donaldson also hit a three-run homer.

The play of Oakland's middle infielders this spring has given manager Bob Melvin a pleasant problem as he tries to decide which ones to keep on the opening day roster.

Eric Sogard has been the hottest hitter of late. He was 4 for 4 on Sunday and is nine for his last 12, including five doubles, in his last four games. Jemile Weeks had a hit and played nice defense at second base after being slowed by a bruised shoulder and Andy Parrino had two hits. And don't forget Jed Lowrie, hitting .333 with 10 hits after being acquired in a trade with Houston on Feb. 4.

"Those guys are playing well. It's good to see. That's what competition is all about," Melvin said. "Sogard is really seeing the ball. It's like a beach ball right now."

NOTES: The A's optioned INF Grant Green and OF Michael Taylor to Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday. The team also reassigned five non-roster invitees to its minor league camp. ... Brent Lillibridge and Dave Sappelt homered for the Cubs. ... Cubs INF Javier Baez collected two more hits, putting his average at .333. He had hit four homers in his previous two games, including three on three straight pitches. ... Cubs 3B Ian Stewart is due to have a second MRI on Monday and his strained left quadriceps has kept him out of action all spring.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Players of the Game

B. Lillibridge
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1

A. Rosales
AB 2
R 2
H 2
HR 2

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
David DeJesus, DH4110002 .300
   a- Wes Darvill, PH-DH1000002 .000
Javier Baez, SS5021023 .333
Anthony Rizzo, 1B3110002 .250
    Rafael Lopez, 1B1000001 .143
Alfonso Soriano, LF3110001 .258
    Jae-Hoon Ha, LF1000000 .000
Brent Lillibridge, CF3222000 .450
    Jorge Soler, RF1000000 .250
Dave Sappelt, RF-CF4123000 .200
Welington Castillo, C3000011 .207
    Micah Gibbs, C0000100 .000
Christian Villanueva, 3B4010000 .167
Alberto Gonzalez, 2B3020000 .240
    Jonathan Mota, 2B1000012 .000
a-lined out for DeJesus in the 9th
2B - Javier Baez (2, Milone), Brent Lillibridge (3, Milone), Alberto Gonzalez (2, Doolittle)
HR - Brent Lillibridge (1, Okajima), Dave Sappelt (2, Milone)
RBI - Javier Baez (9), Brent Lillibridge 2 (3), Dave Sappelt 3 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Javier Baez (4), Dave Sappelt 3 (3)
SB - Dave Sappelt (2, 2nd base off Milone/Jaso)
Team LOB - 5
Chicago Cubs
Scott Baker 0.1333201 81.00
Casey Coleman 1.2100020 0.00
Cory Wade 2333111 5.14
Rafael Dolis 1.1200110 5.79
Jason Berken (L,0-1) 1.2322021 10.80
Jensen Lewis 0.2233100 6.75
Steve Perakslis 0.1111001 27.00
HBP - Cespedes (by Cory Wade)
WP - Rafael Dolis (1), Steve Perakslis (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 14-6, Casey Coleman 10-10, Cory Wade 18-10, Rafael Dolis 13-8, Jason Berken 15-14, Jensen Lewis 9-4, Steve Perakslis 7-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Casey Coleman 1-2, Cory Wade 1-3, Rafael Dolis 1-2, Jason Berken 1-2, Jensen Lewis 1-1, Steve Perakslis 1-0
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 6, Casey Coleman 6, Cory Wade 10, Rafael Dolis 7, Jason Berken 8, Jensen Lewis 5, Steve Perakslis 2
Oakland Athletics
Eric Sogard, 2B4140000 .500
    Michael Choice, CF1000001 .310
Shane Peterson, LF-RF2100312 .439
Chris Young, CF4113004 .216
    Darwin Perez, LF1100001 .333
Yoenis Cespedes, DH2000011 .182
   a- Scott Sizemore, PH-DH2111012 .172
Brandon Moss, 1B3120010 .333
    Scott Moore, 1B2000011 .200
John Jaso, C1100200 .217
    Andy Parrino, SS2221000 .400
Josh Donaldson, 3B3123000 .188
    Adam Rosales, PR-3B2224000 .364
Hiroyuki Nakajima, SS3000003 .194
    Dave Freitas, C2000000 .471
Michael Taylor, RF3000010 .217
    Jemile Weeks, 2B1010000 .421
a-struck out for Cespedes in the 6th
2B - Eric Sogard (6, Dolis), Scott Sizemore (1, Lewis), Brandon Moss (1, Wade), Andy Parrino (5, Berken)
HR - Chris Young (1, Baker), Josh Donaldson (2, Wade), Adam Rosales 2 (2, Berken, Perakslis)
RBI - Chris Young 3 (5), Scott Sizemore (3), Andy Parrino (9), Josh Donaldson 3 (5), Adam Rosales 4 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Andy Parrino (6), Adam Rosales 2 (3)
SB - Darwin Perez (1, 2nd base off Lewis/Gibbs)
CS - Yoenis Cespedes (1, 2nd base by Wade/Castillo)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Milone-Young-Moss, Sogard-Nakajima-Moss
Oakland Athletics
Tommy Milone 4.2844021 4.73
Hideki Okajima (BS,1) 1.1222001 5.87
Sean Doolittle (W,2-0) 1100010 1.80
Mike Ekstrom (S,1) 2100110 1.69
Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Milone 26-25, Hideki Okajima 9-8, Sean Doolittle 6-6, Mike Ekstrom 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Milone 4-6, Sean Doolittle 2-0, Mike Ekstrom 2-3
Batters Faced - Tommy Milone 20, Hideki Okajima 6, Sean Doolittle 4, Mike Ekstrom 8
Game Information
Attendance - 7184
Game Time - 3:07
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Hal Gibson, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Ben May, Third Base - Stuart Scheurwater