MESA, Ariz. (AP) — One last time at HoHoKam Stadium, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh inning was changed to include the lyric, “If the Cubs don’t win it’s a shame.”
Thursday’s game marked the end of a 17-year stay by the Chicago Cubs at HoHoKam as their spring training home. The club moves into a new facility about four miles away next year.
“It’ll be interesting to see how the new one compares to some of the other nice parks in Arizona,” said 74-year-old Wes Odean, an Elmhurst, Ill., resident down for spring training. “This place has been good, but now we will have something that should be really special.”
The fans turned out to say goodbye, with 11,635 in attendance as the Cubs lost 6-4 to the Seattle Mariners.
The Cubs had a 132-119-13 all-time record at HoHoKam, which become the home of the Oakland Athletics starting in 2015. The overall attendance at HoHoKam since 1997 was 2,610,736.
Cubs No. 5 starter Carlos Villanueva went five innings in his final spring training start and allowed four hits, three runs — one earned — and two walks with three strikeouts.
“It’s been good the last two times out,” he said. “I have been able to treat it like real game speed and I have been very pleased with the results. I’m getting a lot more groundballs so today was good.
“I’m happy and healthy and that’s all that really matters,” he said.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum feels the clubs is better prepared personnel-wise heading into his second year as manager.
“We filled a lot of holes that we had last year,” he said. “Our bullpen should throw a lot more strikes, our defense will be better and our offense will have more left-handed hitters.”
Mariners No. 2 starter Hisashi Iwakuma was scheduled to throw 80 pitches but came out after four innings because a dry skin on his fingertips. He said through an interpreter that it happens every spring and it was nothing to be worried about.
Iwakuma had a solid outing other than a ball he left up to Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano, who connected for a two-run shot in the third inning. In his four innings, the right-hander allowed five hits, three earned with no walks and four strikeouts.
“I felt good, generally, but I threw a couple of pitches too high,” he said through an interpreter. “I am ready for the season to start.”
Seattle’s Michael Morse set the Mariners’ record for spring training home runs with his ninth, coming off Villanueva to lead off the second inning.
“He’s a big strong guy, but he is more than that,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “He works at this craft.”
The previous record was eight by Mike Wilson in 2009.
The Mariner’s Kelly Shoppach had a two-out, two-run double off Hisanori Takahashi in the eighth inning to break open a 4-all game.
BREWERS 6, ROCKIES 2
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kyle Lohse had a solid debut three days after signing a $33 million, three-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, pitching into the fourth inning of a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday.
Lohse gave up two first-inning hits, including a run-scoring double by Carlos Gonzalez, but settled down after that. He also gave up doubles to Todd Helton to lead off the second and Dexter Fowler to lead off the third. He did not walk a batter and struck out two. Overall he gave up a run and four hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Infielder Yuniesky Betancourt made a triumphant return to the Brewers after playing with Kansas City in 2012 and being in the Philadelphia Phillies’ camp earlier this spring. He had three hits, including a home run and a double.
ATHLETICS 7, GIANTS 3
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Back on the mound in his home ballpark, Tim Lincecum was still far from his old form.
The former ace allowed five runs in his final start before the regular season, and the San Francisco Giants lost to the Oakland Athletics 7-3 in the Bay Bridge Series opener Thursday night.
With a black-and-orange crowd announced at 40,630 returning for the first time since San Francisco won the World Series last October, many left guessing about Lincecum’s future again. He struck out six and walked one in 4 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits, including a home run to Yoenis Cespedes for the second straight start.
Lincecum ended a shaky spring with a 10.57 ERA in five starts.
DODGERS 3, ANGELS 0
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Hyun-jin Ryu retired all 12 batters he faced in
his final spring training start, combining with six relievers on a
two-hitter, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Angels 3-0 Thursday
night in the first of three straight exhibition games between the teams
leading up to opening day.
The Angels didn’t get their first
baserunner until Alberto Callaspo greeted Matt Guerrier with a single to
right field on a 1-0 pitch leading off the sixth. But he was stranded
at second after winning pitcher Ronald Belisario relived Guerrier and
retired Erick Aybar on a grounder to second.
The Angels’ only
other hit was a two-out single in the eighth by J.B. Shuck against
Kenley Jansen. Brandon League pitched a perfect ninth for the save.
INDIANS 6, PADRES 4
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Cleveland Indians Opening Day starter Justin Masterson closed out a solid spring with seven strikeouts in a 6-4 loss to the San Diego Padres on Thursday afternoon at Peoria Sports Complex.
The right-hander allowed two runs and six hits in five innings. He’ll open the regular season April 2 against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Padres starter Clayton Richard fared well in his final spring outing. He allowed one earned run (three total) on five hits in five innings, struck out five and walked one. His next outing will come on April 3 against the New York Mets.
Padres catcher John Baker went 2 for 3 with an RBI-double and a go-ahead home run in the seventh. Right fielder Will Venable hit one in the same half-inning. Both had three RBIs.
Cleveland right fielder Drew Stubbs went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and second baseman Jason Kipnis hit a home run off Richard in the fifth.
DIAMONDBACKS 9, RANGERS 3
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Trevor Cahill scattered four hits and struck out 11 in five-plus innings as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 on Thursday.
The Rangers’ lineup was made up entirely of minor leaguers, the majority slated to start the season in Class A. Texas’ major leaguers had left Wednesday for Arlington and an exhibition against the Mexico City Red Devils later Thursday.
Cahill, who will start April 2 against St. Louis, allowed one unearned run in 5 2/3 innings and did not walk a batter. In his last four outings, Cahill has allowed three runs — two earned — on 14 hits across 17 1/3 innings.
Diamondbacks right-hander David Hernandez gave up a run on a hit in his inning of work.
A.J. Pollock was 2 for 2, Tyler Bortnick added a three-run homer and Garrett Weber also homered for Arizona.
Rougned Odor, one of the Rangers’ top infield prospects, singled and scored for Texas.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA 4, DODGERS 3
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (AP) — Carl Crawford hit a two-run single that tied the game in the final inning before a Los Angeles Dodgers split squad lost to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the club’s high Class A affiliate, 4-3 in a seven-inning exhibition Thursday night.
Crawford’s two-out hit tied the score, but the Quakes won in the bottom of the seventh on Angelo Songco’s run-scoring single.
Five major leaguers were in the Dodgers’ starting lineup: Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Luis Cruz, Alfredo Amezega and Jerry Hairston Jr. Touted prospect Yasiel Puig batted sixth for Los Angeles and went 0 for 3.
Rancho Cucamonga led 3-0 going into the seventh. Chris Reed, the Dodgers’ first-round draft pick in 2011, started and threw three hitless innings for the Quakes. He walked one and struck out three, including Crawford and Hairston.
ROYALS 8, REDS 3
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez hit home runs off Matt Latos in Kansas City’s five-run third inning, and the Royals beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-3 on Thursday.
Gordon’s homer was his seventh of the spring, and Perez — who also doubled — hit his second, a three-run shot.
Joey Votto and Royals first baseman Billy Butler collided as Votto rounded first after hitting a ball off Ervin Santana into the left-field corner to drive in a run in the first inning. Votto was awarded second base as both men fell to the ground.
Santana pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the second by getting Votto to bounce to the mound to start a 1-2-3 double play. The right-hander allowed two runs and seven hits with a walk in four innings.
Latos finished the third then left the game, allowing five runs and nine hits with five strikeouts.