Hendricks touched for five runs in sixth inning before Chicago rebounds
By Carrie Muskat and Chris Haft
MESA, Ariz. -- Chris Coghlan and Tommy La Stella each hit RBI doubles, and Starlin Castro delivered a tiebreaking RBI single in a three-run sixth to lift the Cubs to an 8-5 victory Monday over the Giants in front of a sellout crowd at Sloan Park.
Joe Panik hit a solo homer and Daniel Carbonell added a two-run double to spark a five-run sixth for the Giants. Starter Tim Hudson served up 10 hits and walked two over 4 2/3 innings in his worst spring outing. The right-hander had given up 11 hits over 12 innings in his four previous starts.
Kyle Hendricks held the Giants to three hits over the first five innings. But Panik connected with one out in the sixth and the next four batters reached, chasing Hendricks.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Clutch hitting:Dexter Fowler tripled and scored on Coghlan's double in the Cubs' first, but then the offense stalled. That was a problem last year as the Cubs ranked 14th in the National League at .223 with runners in scoring position. In the sixth, Jorge Soler and Castro came through with RBI singles when needed. They can't rely on home runs.
Rookie mistake: Hudson committed the sort of goof that you wouldn't expect from a 16-year veteran. With opposing pitcher Hendricks aboard via a two-out hit, Hudson threw to first base without Joaquin Arias holding the runner. A balk was correctly called, moving Hendricks into scoring position for Jonathan Herrera's bloop RBI single.
Secret agent: This was only Hendricks' third Cactus League game, but he's been pitching in "B" games this spring. He joked that he was working undercover. The right-hander will most likely be happier with his two hits Monday than anything else. The Cubs pitchers have a friendly competition this spring regarding who's the best with the bat. However, Hendricks was called out on strikes with the bases loaded in the fifth.
Putting it together: Panik's sixth-inning homer continued a personal surge. He tied Brandon Belt for the team's Cactus League lead with his third home run, one day after rapping three hits against the Dodgers.
The Cubs head back to Surprise on Tuesday to face the Rangers. Eric Jokisch gets the start, his third this spring. The lefty, who will open the season in Triple-A Iowa's rotation, has given up eight earned runs on 15 hits over 12 innings while striking out seven. Jon Lester, the Cubs' Opening Night starter, will tune up by pitching in a Minor League game Tuesday at the Cubs complex. Dallas Beeler, who has been sidelined with tightness in his right bicep, will throw two innings in a simulated game Tuesday as well. The Cubs vs. Rangers game will be broadcast on MLB.TV and via an exclusive Cubs.com webcast, starting at 3:05 p.m. CT.
Each start of Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum's seems to be significant, and this one's no exception. Lincecum will oppose Colorado at Scottsdale Stadium beginning at 1:05 p.m. PT on Tuesday and probably can clinch the No. 5 starter's spot with a strong effort. Lincecum has built up arm strength, allowing one run and two hits in four innings to the Angels on March 21 before yielding three earned runs and four hits in five innings against Oakland last Thursday. Also, expect a handful of regulars who rested Monday, including shortstop Brandon Crawford, center fielder Angel Pagan and catcher Buster Posey, to return to the lineup. The game can be watched via an exclusive free webcast on sfgiants.com.