Oakland Athletics Split-Squad Falls To Cubs On Late Rally


Mar 4, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics outfielder Billy Burns (19) slides safely into third base in front of Chicago Cubs 3rd baseman Donnie Murphy (8) in the first inning of their spring training baseball game at Cubs Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports.

The Chicago Cubs pushed across three runs in the bottom of the eighth on Tuesday, cancelling out three scoreless innings of relief by Arnold Leon as a split squad of Oakland Athletics dropped a 6-4 decision at Cubs Park in Mesa, Ariz.

Starter Tommy Milone was hit hard, allowing a run in the first and two more in the third. He surrendered five hits and struck out one in three innings.

Leon was next and he shut the door on the Cubs (2-3) for three innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out one.

Oakland (5-2) scored in the first inning on an RBI single by Brandon Moss that drove in Billy Burns.

The Cubs came back in the bottom of the first, scoring a run on Justin Ruggiano’s ground-rule double to right-center field. Ruggiano followed that up in the third with a two-run homer, his first of the spring, to left-center.

Burns came around to score again in the top of the fifth on a flare to center by Josh Reddick and the A’s tied it in the sixth on an RBI single by Eric Sogard and plated Sam Fuld.

Michael Ynoa (0-1) worked a scoreless seventh for the A’s, but ran into trouble in the eighth. Albert Almora drove in a run with a grounder up the middle and Mike Olt followed by launching his first homer of the spring to left field to bring home a pair.

Burns scored his third run of the day on an RBI grounder by Jose Martinez in the ninth, but with two outs and the tying run at the plate, Anthony Aliotti bounced out on a comebacker to pitcher Brian Schlitter to end it.

Moss and Reddick each had two hits and Burns stole a pair of bases to run his Cactus League total to seven. Fuld and Nick Punto had Oakland’s only extra base hits, with each collecting a double.

Ynoa allowed three runs on two hits and a walk in 1.2 innings, striking out two, and Andrew Werner got the last out of the eighth inning.

The A’s visit the Milwaukee Brewers with a full squad on Wednesday at Maryvale Baseball Park at 12:05 p.m. Pacific.