March 2 Cactus League Report


Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

One of the top infield prospects in the game, Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning Sunday. The round-tripper proved to be the difference in the Indians’ 6-3 win over the Mariners in Goodyear. Tyler Naquin, Carlos Moncrief and Jesus Aguilar all saw action in the contest, though none collected a hit. Abraham Almonte started in centerfield and led off for the Mariners and Ji-Man Choi went 0-2 as a replacement.

Big names clashed in Mesa as the Cubs hosted the Royals in front of a Cactus League record crowd of 14,680. The home Cubs saw a glimpse of the bright future of shortstop uber-prospect Javier Baez. After taking over for an injured Starlin Castro, Baez went 2-3 with a run scored. Fellow prospects Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler each had one at bat, but neither recorded a hit.

Yordano Ventura got off to a nice start in his quest for the fifth spot in the Kansas City Royals rotation Sunday, tossing two scoreless innings. After entering in the third, the flamethrowing righty struck out one and allowed just one hit. Michael Mariot struck out two in a perfect ninth inning for the save. Position prospects that saw time in the contest included Christian Colon and Cheslor Cuthbert. Neither had a hit as late inning replacements.

The Reds traveled to Peoria to take on a San Diego split-squad. Billy Hamilton led off for Cincinnati, going 1-3 with an RBI and a run scored before giving way to Ryan LaMarre, who went 0-2 with a walk. Donald Lutz had a big game for the Reds, driving in three runs and scoring two in three at bats. Neftali Soto was 2-3 with a run scored and Juan Duran went 1-3 with two strikeouts. Right-handed pitching prospect Daniel Corcino had a rough go in the sixth inning, allowing four earned runs on four hits and two walks and recorded only two outs.

Outfielder Reymond Fuentes got the start in center for the Padres, walking once in two plate appearances before making way for Mallex Smith, who also went 0-1. Top catching prospect Austin Hedges drove in two runs with a single in the sixth inning and finished 1-2 on the day.  Second baseman Cory Spangenberg collected a hit in his only at bat after entering the game as a pinch runner.

On the mound, Burch Smith had a bumpy outing. The 23-year-old entered in the third inning and left with two outs in the fourth. The hard-throwing right hander allowed six earned on eight hits. He did not walk a hitter and struck out one. Highly regarded prospect Matt Wisler was impressive with two scoreless innings later in the game. The 2011 seventh rounder allowed two hits and struck out one.

The second half of the split-squad Padres traveled to Camelback Ranch to play the Dodgers. Infielder Jace Peterson went 0-2, but walked and scored twice. The 2011 first-round supplemental pick started the game at third before moving over to short for the remainder. Speedy outfielder Rico Noel had an RBI double, stole a base and scored a run as part of a 1-4 day. Rymer Liriano started in right field and also played the entire game, but went 0-4. Dodgers top prospect Joc Pederson walked twice and scored a run in two plate appearances. Newcomer Alex Guerrero had a hit, an RBI and scored a run starting at second base.

At Tempe Diablo Stadium, the Oakland A’s met the Angels. Michael Taylor started in right field for the Athletics and went 0-4 at the plate. The big-bodied outfielder struck out twice and left four men on base, but had an RBI. Top prospect Addison Russell and outfielder Billy Burns combined to go 0-3.

The Angels got an RBI double for Grant Green against his old club as part of a 1-2 day at the plate. Former top prospect Kaleb Cowart went 0-2 with a strikeout. 2010 first round pick Cam Bedrosian worked two-thirds of an inning, earned one strike out and surrendered one hit.

Brewers Minor League Player of the Year Jason Rogers started as the Designated Hitter and went 1-3 with a walk as Milwaukee met the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields. Hector Gomez took advantage of his only at bat of the ballgame, hitting what proved to be a decisive solo home run in the top of the eighth. Adam Weisenberger singled in his only at bat for the Brewers Sunday. Shortstop Christian Adames had one hit in two trips for the host Rockies.

The Rangers hosted the White Sox in Surprise. Jose Abreu failed to collect a hit in three at bats and stranded three. White Sox outfielders Jared Mitchell and Trayce Thompson  and first basemen Andy Wilkins and Mike McDade all had hits.  Thompson and McDade each drove in a run and Mitchell’s 2 RBI double in the ninth was part of a five-run inning for Chicago in a come-from-behind victory. Left-handed pitching prospect Scott Snodgress tossed a perfect fifth inning.  Matt Davidson entered as a replacement, striking out in his only at bat. Michael Choice went 0-2 and left three men aboard for the Rangers.

In Scottsdale, Gary Brown saw action for the San Francisco Giants, walking in his only plate appearance. Shortstop Ehire Adrianza went 0-for-1. The Diamondbacks got an 0-2 performance from one-time mega prospect Andy Marte.