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Post Info TOPIC: 55+ Cubs get toughest test yet!

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55+ Cubs get toughest test yet!

The Cubs got their toughest test of the year, so far, but survived for a 7-3 win over Jim Edelman's Twins.

The Cubs got off on the right foot, in the bottom of the first when leadoff man Carlos Espada worked a walk
and immediately stole second. Paul Miles' groundout moved Carlos to third, with just one out. Ron Lochner
plated Espada with a RBI groundout, and the Cubs had an early 1-0 lead.

The Twins had an equally good start, in their half of the first. Leadoff man Francis Owens tripled to left, and Charlie Freer
singled him home. Cubs starter, Chris Dunn (working without his best stuff) settled in and got the 3, 4, and 5 hitters in order.
and the inning ended tied at 1.

The Cubs retook the lead in the second when Chris Dunn led off with a walk and stole second. Mike Girard grounded the ball to the left side
and as the throw was being made to first, Dunn rounded third and headed home, beating the relay throw from first base. Cubs 2 - Twins 1.

Dunn got through his 3 innings of work with allowing just that first inning run, giving up just a double to John Reel, in the third, while striking out 2.
In the top of the 4th, the Cubs got a run on an inside the park home run by Carlos Espada (the Cubs' first hit of the game). After an uneventful bottom of the 4th,
with Ron Massaroni on in relief of Dunn, the Cubs pushed the lead to 4-1, in the top of the 5th. Jerry Rosen singled to get things going.
A wild pitch got him to second and Girard delivered him with a single to center, to give the Cubs a 3-run cushion.

The Twins were not deterred, being down 3 runs to the Cubs, even though they had just one run and 4 hits total in the game entering the
bottom of the 5th. They engineered a big rally in that frame with one out. Owens got the rally started with a single and a stolen base. Freer followed
suit with a RBI single and a stolen base of his own. Jeff Whitehead then doubled Freer home and the Twins were within one, with the tying run on second
and just one out. A nervous time for the Cubs. Rick Saidenberg was then walked intentionally. Ronnie Mazz then showed why he is one of the best pitchers
in the division by striking out the next two Twins batters to get the Cubs out of the jam with an slim 4-3 lead.

How would the Cubs react to this new one run game? Alex Marin led off the 6th with a walk, followed by a Jim McQuade single. Twins starter, Jeff Whitehead, got the first
out via strikeout, then Espada came up and attempted a drag bunt that Whitehead made a good play on, just nailing Espada at first. However, both runners
were moved up into scoring position. Paul Miles then singled scoring Marin and McQuade. Lochner followed with a single, moving Miles to third. As fate would have it,
Espada was Lochner's courtesy runner. He took off for second, but got a bad jump and stopped halfway, to get in a rundown. The throw went through to second but was misplayed,
allowing Miles to scamper home with the Cubs third run in the inning. When the dust had cleared, the Cubs had a 7-3 lead.

Massaroni threw a 1-2-3 bottom of the 6th and Girard came on for a 1-2-3 seventh inning, and the game was in the books. WHEW!
Hats off to this Twin team. They have already tied the defending champion Whiz Kids and put a scare into the 2023 runner-up. Don't sleep on these guys.
Jeff Whitehead did a great job on the mound for the Twins throwing 6 innings, giving up just 7 hits (just 1 hit through the first 4 innings).

The Cubs move to 4-0 with the win. The Twins drop to 1-2-1, with the loss.
Next up for the Cubs is the Americans, next Thursday at 5:30 pm , at the A-Diamond.

Michael J. Girard
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