The Oakland Athletics opened their 2011 Cactus League schedule with a 15-7 victory over the Chicago Cubs. The 2011 Spring Training Opener saw both teams go deep into their rosters. The Cubs were playing without a designated hitter, which meant their pitchers avoided hitting for the most part. Carlos Zambrano and Matt Garza each took cuts one time, but otherwise the Cubs used pinch-hitters throughout.
Coming off a monster breakout season in 2010, Trevor Cahill struggled in his 2011 debut. Cahill lasted 1/3 of an inning, throwing 11 pitches and giving up four runs on five hits and a walk. He was pulled for Tyson Ross who went 1 2/3 innings, giving up one hit and one walk. Joey Devine relieved him and was credited with the victory on one inning of work. Matt Garza took the loss for the Cubs as he was rocked for five runs in two innings of work.
The offensive explosion was led by Coco Crisp, who hit a third inning grand slam off Garza. Josh Willingham, 2010 first round pick Michael Choice, Anthony Recker, Matt Carson, and Jai Miller all had two hits, with eight different players driving in at least one run.
One of the A’s primary position battles is for the fifth starter in the pitching rotation. That battle features Tyson Ross, Bobby Cramer, Josh Outman, and Rich Harden among others. Ross, Outman and Cramer all pitched today, with Cramer giving up a run over two innings, Outman giving up three hits and no runs over two innings, and Ross’ performance mentioned above.
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