ATHLETICS 7, CUBS 4
at Phoenix
Saturday, March 20

Cubs at the plate: Chicago's first run of the day came on an RBI grounder off the bat of Koyie Hill that scored Micah Hoffpauir, who led off the fourth with a double for his first of two hits.

Athletics at the plate: Gregorio Petit went 2-for-3 at the plate with a run-scoring triple, a double and a walk. Eric Patterson, Jake Fox, Daric Barton, Eric Sogard and Josh Donaldson each collected RBIs as well -- Barton's coming courtesy of one of his four walks. The A's earned nine walks but also tallied 11 strikeouts.

Cubs on the mound: Left-handed starter Tom Gorzelanny watched two runs -- none earned -- cross home plate in his 3 2/3 innings of work. He didn't give up a hit but walked five and struck out five. Jay Jackson followed with 1 1/3 innings, scattering three runs on two hits and a walk while fanning two. John Gaub and Mitch Atkins each pitched an inning, with Atkins surrendering Oakland's final two runs.

Athletics on the mound: Righty Ben Sheets, who in his last outing allowed 10 runs without retiring a single batter, bounced back nicely with four innings of one-run ball. He gave up three hits and walked three while striking out four before Jerry Blevins and Brad Kilby each tossed two shutout innings.

Worth noting: The Cubs committed two errors, the first by Adduci in the second innning that allowed Travis Buck to reach second base, and the other committed by Hoffpauir in the seventh frame.

Cactus League records: Athletics 8-8-1; Cubs 10-7-0

Up next: Left-hander Dallas Braden, who has quietly put together a string of impressive spring starts, gets the nod Sunday against the visiting Reds at Phoenix Municipal Stadium beginning at 1:05 p.m. PT. All eyes, however, will be on right-handed reliever Michael Wuertz, who is slated to make his Cactus League debut. Wuertz has been sidelined with shoulder soreness but will look to start building up his pitches to ready himself for Opening Night. Fans may also potentially see Coco Crisp (hamstring/shoulder) back in action in the DH spot.

On Sunday, Carlos Silva will make his fourth spring start when the Cubs travel to Goodyear, Ariz., to face the Reds at 3:05 p.m. CT. The right-hander has not given up a run in his last seven innings over two starts and says he's feeling much more comfortable with his sinker. Expect Kevin Millar to start in left field. The Cubs are trying to determine their bench and need to see where else he can play besides first.