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Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Cubs 7, Reds 4

By Doug Padilla

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Cubs got ninth-inning home runs from Welington Castillo and Dave Sappelt and then held on for a 7-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The good: Bryan LaHair keeps on delivering, going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles. He seems to be going through the volatile streakiness of a power hitter. His first two weeks of Cactus League play were unproductive with a batting average under .200. Now he is hitting everything in sight. There is still one thing missing: He doesn’t have a home run yet this spring.

The bad: Alfonso Soriano said the ice pack over his left knee shouldn’t be taken as a sign of trouble. He said it was only a precaution as he sat in the clubhouse after he was removed from the game. Soriano said he wants to make sure he can run around in left field this season as well as run around the bases, adding he hopes most of that running comes on the bases.

Outside the box: Lendy Castillo continues to look like an interesting option for the final bullpen spot. The Rule 5 pickup from the Phillies gave up one run on three hits over an inning and has given up more than one run just once in his nine Cactus League outings. Many of the roster decisions will be made this week, but the bullpen decision figures to last until camp breaks next Tuesday.

Up next: Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 6.43) will square off against Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin (0-2, 8.47) in a 3 p.m. CST start from HoHoKam Park.