Chicago at Oakland

W: J. Russell (1-0) L: J. Chavez (4-1)
HR: CHC - J. Lake (1),L. Valbuena (5),J. Lake (2),M. Olt (5),J. Lake (3),L. Valbuena (6)   OAK - None

Lake hits 3 homers in Cubs' 10-6 win over A's

Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) Junior Lake's big day helped bail out Jason Hammel.

The Cubs' starting pitcher had a shaky outing Sunday, but managed to limit the damage while Lake hit three of Chicago's six home runs and finished with six RBIs in a 10-6 victory over an Oakland Athletics split squad.

Hammel gave up eight hits and walked three in 4 2/3 innings. But the A's, who stranded 12 runners, scored two in the first and no more against the Cubs right-hander.

''This game is a prime example,'' Hammel said. ''Find a way. In games where we're not looking the best, or not at top potential, we can make a run out of something and then we put a five-spot right there.''

A's starter Jesse Chavez continued his outstanding performance through the first five innings - a spring that pushed the right-hander into the No. 3 spot in Oakland's rotation as announced by manager Bob Melvin earlier Sunday. Sonny Gray will be the opening day starter.

Chavez gave up just two singles and a walk before the Cubs' big sixth. Darwin Barney singled and Chris Coghlan brought him home with a double. Emilio Bonifacio singled with Coghlan holding at third, and Lake followed with his first home run of the spring to put Chicago ahead to stay at 4-2. Luis Valbuena homered on Chavez's very next pitch.

Lake's second homer, off Drew Pomeranz, with a man on in the seventh extended the lead to 7-2. Oakland scored three times in its half of the seventh with a pair of errors by third baseman Mike Olt extending the rally. Left fielder Darnell McDonald fell while chasing Tyler Ladendorf's deep fly, and the ball bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double.

But in the eighth, Olt homered for the fifth time in the spring to get a run back for the Cubs. Lake and Valbuena connected again in the ninth off Fernando Nieve. Valbuena's second homer gave him six, passing Olt and Javier Baez for the Cubs' spring lead.


Cubs: Hammel said he was more effective after pitching coach Chris Bosio told him he was working tentatively.

''Strike one has to be the most important thing for me,'' Hammel said. ''As guys start to know that I'm a sinker-baller, (when) they see it down, they're leaving it down. And I didn't get any balls down.''

Hammel has one more start before the regular season begins, and he's hoping to get a cleaner outing than Sunday's.

''It definitely wasn't pretty,'' he said. ''But you grind through it. Obviously you know sometimes you're not going to have your best stuff and you've got to find a way. We did that today.''

A's: The decision to make Gray the opening day starter was expected after injuries sidelined starters Jarrod Parker (torn ligament in pitching elbow) and A.J. Griffin (elbow ligament strain).

''I was excited,'' Gray said when Melvin told him the news. ''I don't think it changes preparation. I knew I was going to pitch at some point. I'm looking forward to a bullpen (session) and my last start of the spring (Wednesday).''

Gray has just 10 starts in regular-season play, but he's no stranger to the crowds. He was the ace of the staff at Vanderbilt, and he ended up with a pair of starts against Detroit and Justin Verlander in the American League Division Series last October.

''He's very quickly become that guy for us,'' Melvin said. ''He's not afraid of the spotlight.''

Gray's low-key reaction didn't surprise his manager.

''The poise, the competitiveness, how driven he is,'' Melvin said of Gray's qualifications. ''Whether he's throwing a bullpen, pitching in a game, he's the same guy all the time. He is prepared every single time.''

Melvin said Sunday that Gray will be followed in Oakland's rotation by Scott Kazmir, Chavez, Dan Straily and Tommy Milone.

Gray will be Oakland's ninth opening Day starter in as many years.


Melvin said pitchers Ryan Cook (shoulder) and Fernando Rodriguez (elbow) and outfielder Craig Gentry (back) will start the season on the disabled list. Melvin said Cook and Gentry, who are active again after sitting out most of the spring, need a little more time.

''They'll continue to play minor league games,'' Melvin said. Those won't count against DL time, which began Friday.

Cook and Gentry would be eligible to return April 5 during the A's second series of the season, at home against Seattle.


After the game, the A's sent pitchers Arnold Leon and Josh Lindblom and first baseman Nate Freiman to Triple-A Sacramento. The moves give the A's 35 players in camp, including two non-roster players - outfielders Sam Fuld and Billy Burns, both of whom have impressed Melvin.


The A's final Sunday game at Phoenix Municipal Stadium drew a crowd of 6,511. ... The A's, who have home games remaining Tuesday and Wednesday, are leaving after 33 years at the oldest Cactus League facility. They move into the Cubs' former Mesa home, Hohokam Stadium, next season. The A's trained at that Mesa facility from 1969-78.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Players of the Game

J. Lake
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 3

J. Lowrie
AB 4
R 2
H 1
HR 0

Related Video

Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Emilio Bonifacio, CF3110011 .250
   Darnell McDonald, LF2000011 .222
Junior Lake, LF-CF5336000 .250
   Zeke DeVoss, CF0000000 .333
Luis Valbuena, 2B5222030 .294
Mike Olt, 3B4111010 .273
   Charlie Cutler, 1B10100001.000
Ryan Kalish, RF5010011 .286
Ryan Roberts, 1B4020011 .281
   Jonathan Mota, PR-3B0000000 .333
George Kottaras, C2000111 .111
   Eli Whiteside, C1000001 .000
Darwin Barney, SS3110001 .263
   Wes Darvill, PR-SS1100001 .250
Chris Coghlan, DH4121011 .235
Jason Hammel, P0000000 .000
   James Russell, P0000000 .000
   Alberto Cabrera, P0000000 .000
   Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
   Arodys Vizcaino, P0000000 .000
   Blake Parker, P0000000 .000
2B - Chris Coghlan (3, J. Chavez)
HR - Junior Lake 3 (3, J. Chavez), Luis Valbuena 2 (6, J. Chavez), Mike Olt (5, Pomeranz)
RBI - Junior Lake 6 (9), Luis Valbuena 2 (12), Mike Olt (10), Chris Coghlan (2)
2-OUT RBI - Junior Lake 3 (3), Luis Valbuena (7)
SB - Wes Darvill (1, 2nd base off Pomeranz/Gimenez)
Team LOB - 4
Outfield Assists - Emilio Bonifacio 1
DP - Roberts-Barney, Roberts-Barney-Darvill-Valbuena-Roberts
E - Mike Olt 2 (2, Throwing)
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Jason Hammel 4.2822320 4.26
James Russell (W,1-0) 0.1000100 3.00
Alberto Cabrera (H,3) 1000010 1.00
Wesley Wright (H,2) 1330000 5.14
Arodys Vizcaino (H,2) 1100010 0.00
Blake Parker 1211010 9.00
WP - Jason Hammel (1)
HBP - Moss (by Jason Hammel)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 37-24, James Russell 5-1, Alberto Cabrera 5-5, Wesley Wright 7-7, Arodys Vizcaino 6-6, Blake Parker 7-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 4-6, Wesley Wright 4-0
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 24, James Russell 2, Alberto Cabrera 3, Wesley Wright 7, Arodys Vizcaino 4, Blake Parker 5
Oakland Athletics
Coco Crisp, CF4020100 .343
   Josh Whitaker, PR-RF0000000 .000
John Jaso, C4010013 .275
   Jake Goebbert, LF1000011 .118
Jed Lowrie, SS4210102 .286
Brandon Moss, 1B3110104 .389
   Ryan Ortiz, C0000000 .500
Josh Reddick, RF3011021 .302
   Chris Gimenez, C-1B2000001 .185
Alberto Callaspo, 3B3021001 .300
   Hiroyuki Nakajima, 3B1100000 .333
   Daniel Robertson, 3B1110000 .250
Eric Sogard, 2B2010102 .244
   Tyler Ladendorf, 2B2110001 .375
Nate Freiman, DH4012003 .238
   a-Anthony Aliotti, PH-DH1011000 .250
Sam Fuld, LF3010000 .300
   Billy McKinney, RF-CF2000012 .385
Jesse Chavez, P0000000 .000
   Drew Pomeranz, P0000000 .000
   Dan Otero, P0000000 .000
   Fernando Nieve, P0000000 .000
   Andrew Werner, P0000000 .000
a-doubled for Freiman in the 9th
2B - John Jaso (4, Hammel), Eric Sogard (2, Hammel), Tyler Ladendorf (1, Wright), Anthony Aliotti (1, Parker)
3B - Jed Lowrie (1, Hammel)
RBI - Josh Reddick (11), Alberto Callaspo (4), Nate Freiman 2 (11), Anthony Aliotti (1)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Reddick (6), Alberto Callaspo (2), Nate Freiman 2 (6), Anthony Aliotti (1)
SB - Sam Fuld (1, 2nd base off Hammel/Kottaras)
Team LOB - 12
DP - Sogard-Lowrie-Moss, Sogard-Lowrie-Moss-Callaspo-Sogard-Moss
E - Jed Lowrie (3, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
Jesse Chavez (L,4-1) 5.2755162 2.74
Drew Pomeranz 1.2431042 3.27
Dan Otero 0.2000000 4.76
Fernando Nieve 0.2322002 6.35
Andrew Werner 0.1000000 0.00
WP - Drew Pomeranz (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jesse Chavez 39-35, Drew Pomeranz 25-21, Dan Otero 2-2, Fernando Nieve 15-9, Andrew Werner 1-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jesse Chavez 7-2, Drew Pomeranz 1-1, Dan Otero 1-1, Fernando Nieve 1-1, Andrew Werner 1-0
Batters Faced - Jesse Chavez 23, Drew Pomeranz 10, Dan Otero 2, Fernando Nieve 5, Andrew Werner 1
Game Information
Attendance - 6511
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Scott Barry, Third Base - Alex Ortiz