The Chicago Cubs finally got some strong pitching, and another great day from Ian Happ as they downed the San Diego Padres 3-1 on Monday afternoon.
The Chicago Cubs continue to be impressed this spring by Ian Happ as he collected three hits–including a two-run home run–as they beat the San Diego Padres, 3-1. John Lackey was solid as he allowed just one and three hit over three innings of work. And this time the bullpen held its ground. After a few tough outings, the pen held its ground, shutting out the Padres for the final six innings.
The Cubs (6-8) were looking to play small ball in the second innings after a Jeimer Candelario walk. Matt Szczurbunted him over to third as they looked for Happ to drive him in. Happ did one better by taking the first pitch he saw over the right field fence for a two-run homer to spot the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
The Padres (6-10) broke through in the fifth on an error by catcher Willson Contreras. After a Cory Spangenberg double, he attempted a steal of third. A throwing error by Contreras allowed him to score. But that was all the Cubs would allow the Padres offense.
Making up for the error
Contreras made up for his error with a run-scoring double in the fifth, scoring Albert Almora. Jon Jay tried to score on the play as well but was cut down on the relay throw.
But the attention still was on Happ as he collected two singles and a home run, moving his average to .467 with a .484 OBP and an OPS of 1.351. His three home runs and 9 RBIs lead the team in both categories this spring.
The bullpen was able to contain the Padres as four relievers held them scoreless en route to the victory. Lefty David Rollins went 2/3 of an inning and a strikeout to keep his perfect spring in play–and a shot at a roster spot.
The Cubs will host the Milwaukee Brewers tomorrow in a 3:05 p.m. CT start at Sloan Park.