It was a rough start to the Cactus League season for Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester, as he was roughed up for five runs and failed to get through the second inning in a 12-6 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Sloan Park.
Only three of the runs Lester gave up were earned, but he was removed from the game in the second inning as he recorded just three outs in his spring debut. He scattered three hits and gave up two walks in the loss.
Ian Happ had a strong day at the plate, hitting a bases-clearing double for the Cubs in the contest, and Jason Kipnis also registered his first RBI of the spring on a sacrifice fly.
The Cubs fell behind early in the first inning, as an error by first baseman Robel García allowed a run to score. An RBI groundout from Ryan McMahon made it 2-0, then Elias Diaz came through with a sacrifice fly to put Colorado ahead 3-0 before the Cubs could reach the plate.
The Rockies kept adding on in the second inning, as Drew Butera hit an RBI double to plate a pair of runs and make it a 5-0 game. The Rockies added three more runs in the third and two more in the fourth, racing out to a 10-0 lead.
The Cubs finally got on the board in the fourth inning, as Kipnis lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to make it a 10-1 game. Happ then slashed an RBI double to deep right center, clearing the bases and bringing the Cubs within six runs.
The Cubs got two more runs in the eighth and ninth innings, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to 2-2 on the spring.
Wednesday will see the Cubs welcome the Kansas City Royals to Sloan Park. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m., and the game will air on Marquee Sports Network.