Lake's power surge continues in loss to Angels
Outfielder goes deep for split squad in front of Cactus League-record crowd
MESA, Ariz. -- Ian Stewart hit a leadoff homer, Collin Cowgill added an RBI double and Shawn O'Malley smacked a tie-breaking RBI single to lift the Angels to an 8-4 victory Tuesday over the Cubs in front of a Cactus League-record crowd of 15,276 at new Cubs Park.
It was the fifth crowd of more than 15,000 at the ballpark, and topped the previous Cactus League record of 15,243 set on Thursday against the Mariners.
Tsuyoshi Wada, a non-roster invitee who was released on Sunday, then re-signed to a Minor League contract the next day, started for the Cubs. The lefty walked Kole Calhoun to start the game and he reached third on Mike Trout's single before scoring on Albert Pujols' sacrifice fly.
Wada was facing the Angels' everyday lineup minus second baseman Howie Kendrick. Third baseman David Freese was scratched because of leg soreness prior to the game.
Wada had his longest outing of the spring, giving up two runs on four hits over four innings.
Mike Olt singled to lead off the Chicago second and reached third on Dan Vogelbach's single. One out later, Darwin Barney hit a game-tying RBI single and Eli Whiteside ended an 0-for-16 stretch with a single to load the bases. Starter Brandon Lyon was lifted, and Albert Almora reached on a fielder's choice, driving in Vogelbach for a 2-1 lead.
Lyon is one of the candidates for a spot in the Angels' bullpen, along with Fernando Salas, Michael Kohn and Nick Maronde.
Raul Ibanez tied the game with a leadoff homer in the Angels' fourth, his second of the spring. But Junior Lake gave the Cubs the lead with two outs in the fifth, connecting for a home run against Matt Shoemaker, continuing from where he left off on Sunday, when he launched three homers.
George Kottaras doubled with two outs in the seventh and scored on Zeke DeVoss' single for a 4-2 lead.
Olt, who is trying to make the Cubs' Opening Day roster, made a nice bare-handed grab of Trout's grounder and threw him out to open the third, and executed a backhanded grab in the fifth. Olt was slowed this spring by soreness in his right shoulder.
Almora, one of the Cubs' top prospects, had a scare in the fourth when he caught Collin Cowgill's fly ball, then slid hard into the wall. Almora lay on the track for a few minutes, but was able to get up and jog off the field. The Cubs said Almore has a bruised right knee, and that they expect him to be fine.
On deck: Jeff Samardzija makes his final Cactus League start Wednesday when the Cubs face the D-backs in Scottsdale. The D-backs may be a little jetlagged. They returned home early Monday from their two-game series against the Dodgers in Australia. Samardzija won't go too deep in the game as he prepares for Monday's season opener against the Pirates, and Chris Rusin, a candidate for the fifth spot, is slated to follow. The game will be broadcast on Cubs.com.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.