Cubs kick off Arizona Fall League with a bang

Javier Baez went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI in his Arizona Fall League debut. (Photo by Rodger Wood)

Things couldn’t have started much better for the Cubs top prospects in the Arizona Fall League yesterday. Though the Solar Sox dropped the 6-5 opener to the Salt River Rafters Tuesday night, much of Mesa’s offense came from Cubs representatives.

Nobody had a better outing than shortstop Javier Baez, who got things going in the top of the second inning with a home run to center to make the game 1-0. Later in the game, Baez ripped a double into left, scoring two.

Leadoff man Matt Szczur was 0-for-2, but drew a pair of walks and dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner to second in his second at-bat. Pinch-hitter Rubi Silva led off the eighth inning with a single that got by the shortstop. Three batters later he would score to give the Solar Sox the 5-4 lead.

Even in limited action, Cubs pitchers fared well. Right-handed reliever Kevin Rhoderick gave up one hit and struck out three in 1.2 innings while righty fireballer Tony Zych struck out the only batter he faced in the ninth.

The Solar Sox have their home opener Wednesday at 12:35 local time. Again they’ll face Salt River, a team comprised of prospects from the Diamondbacks, White Sox, Rockies, Blue Jays and Nationals.

Solar Sox Notes: According to MLB.com, Dodgers prospect Yasiel Puig will sit out the Solar Sox season with a staph infection in his right arm. He is rated the organization’s No. 2 prospect.

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