Jesse Chavez Cruises Until 6th, Oakland Athletics Split Squad Falls To Cubs 10-6


Jesse Chavez, just named to the Oakland Athletics five-man rotation to open the season, was cruising along with five shutout innings Sunday before the Chicago Cubs roughed him up for five runs in the sixth, opening the floodgates en route to a 10-6 win over an A’s split squad at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Junior Lake was the offensive star for the Cubs, crushing three homers, and Luis Valbuena homered twice.

Chavez was cruising along with a 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of first-inning RBI singles by Josh Reddick and Alberto Callaspo before the Cubs (12-15) finally got to him in the sixth.

Chris Coghlan drove in a run with a double and then Chavez served up back-to-back homers to Lake—a three-run shot—and Valbuena was the Cubs took a 5-2 lead over Oakland (12-10).

Chavez (4-1) gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk in 5.2 innings, striking out six, as his spring ERA rose to 2.74.

The Cubs added a pair in the seventh when Lake hit his second homer of the day, this one a two-run shot off right-hander Drew Pomeranz.

Oakland came back with three in the bottom of the inning, getting a jump start from a pair of errors by third baseman Mike Olt.

Jed Lowrie reached to lead off the inning when Olt’s throw was off target at first and Brandon Moss moved him up on a line single up the middle. Chris Gimenez bounced into a double play that left Lowrie at third with two outs and Lowrie scored when Olt couldn’t come up with Niroyuki Nakajima’s grounder. After Tyler Ladendorf skied a ground-rule double to left, Nate Freiman drove in a run with an infield single that scored two and cut the Chicago lead to 7-5.

Olt atoned for his errors a bit, leading off the top of the eighth with a homer to left.

The Cubs got two more homers in the ninth as Lake and Valbuena went back-to-back again, this time off Fernando Nieve.

Anthony Aliotti doubled home a run in the ninth for the A’s.

Pomeranz allowed three runs, one earned, on four hits in 1.2 innings, striking out four. Dan Otero retired the only two hitters he faced. Nieve was charged with two runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning and Andrew Werner retired the only batter he faced.

Coco Crisp and Callaspo each had two hits, part of Oakland’s 14-hit attack.

The A’s will make their final bus trip in Arizona on Monday when they visit the Rangers at Surprise Stadium at 1:05 p.m. Pacific.