The Cubs beat the defending world champion San Francisco Giants today 4-3 in the spring home opener in front of 7,784 fans at Hohokam Stadium. The day was a cool (by Mesa standards) and blustery day with winds gusting to 26 mph and a first pitch temperature of 51 degrees. This weather seemed appropriate on the final spring home opener ever at Hohokam Stadium, because as I recall it was a very similar type day when the Cubs opened a brand new Hohokam 17 years ago.
Today the Cubs scored all of their runs in the 1st frame, the big blow a Dioner Navarro 3 run homer that was likely wind aided. Jeff Samardzija started and worked two nice innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits with 2 K’s. Samardzija nearly had his head taken off in the 2nd on a line smash by Giants Catcher Guillermo Quiroz. In avoiding the liner, Samardzija did what looked like a wild dance while falling off the mound. First ducking, then spinning, only to somehow catch his balance without ever falling to the ground. Alfonso Soriano, who was 2 for 2, hit Giants’ starting pitcher Matt Cain with a wicked shot on a liner just above the right knee. Cain finished the inning, but exited after that.
The Cubs 4 runs in the first were enough to hold off the Giants who after Samardzija only managed a run each off of Carlos Marmol and Cory Wade. Wade’s run allowed was unearned. Casey Coleman, Kyuji Fujikawa, James Russell and Shawn Camp all tossed a scorless inning. It was Fujikawa’s Cactus League and Hohokam debut, he struck out two. Cubs Non-Roster Invitees Brian Bogusevic and Johermyn Chavez each went 2-for-2 at the plate.
After starting the Cactus League season with two wins the Cubs travel to Glendale tomorrow to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. All of today’s photos from our John Antonoff.