Alonso's homer leads A's late rally

Alonso's homer leads A's late rally

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's overcame a six-run deficit with a late offensive outburst Sunday afternoon to beat the visiting Cubs, 9-8, at Hohokam Stadium, extending their winning streak to seven games.

Kris Bryant had a two-run homer, Anthony Rizzo a two-run double and Kyle Schwarber hit a two-run triple to give the Cubs breathing room, but the A's rallied with four in the sixth inning and four more in the seventh to overtake the defending World Series champs.

With their late rally, the A's have scored 73 runs during the seven-game streak. Yonder Alonso smacked a three-run homer in the sixth for the A's, and Oakland drew two bases-loaded walks in the seventh before Yairo Munoz singled home the tying run and Franklin Barreto hit a sacrifice fly for the go-ahead score.

"We talk all spring about usually when the regulars come out, it's time for the second group to make an impact, and man, the at-bats got really good across the board," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

Barreto's triple

Cubs starter Jake Arrieta wound up allowing a run in his third and final inning after issuing back-to-back walks and a wild pitch in his second outing of the spring. He struck out five and walked three.

Arrieta did walk Mark Canha and Rajai Davis with one out in the third, and said after his outing that he felt as if he was throwing left-handed. That's not a good thing for a right-handed pitcher.

"You try to simplify things, gather over the rubber and have a good balance point and let your arm just kind of be there," Arrieta said of how he got back on track. "It's kind of like muscle memory."

It's all right if he loses his release point for a couple batters now. It's Spring Training.

"You just hope it doesn't happen in a huge situation," he said.

Bryant connected on his two-run shot, his second of the spring, in the third inning off A's starter Raul Alcantara, sending the ball the opposite way to right-center, scoring Schwarber ahead of him. The reigning National League Most Valuable Player added an RBI single in the fourth before Rizzo drove in a pair with a double to right-center.

The Cubs added a couple more runs when Schwarber absolutely crushed a ball to dead center, about 20 feet up the batter's eye above the 410-foot mark for a two-run triple off Santiago Casilla, who was making his spring debut for the A's.

Schwarber's two-run triple

Alcantara, vying for a spot in the back of the A's rotation, lasted 2 2/3 innings, allowing the two runs via Bryant's homer on five hits, walking one and striking out one.

The A's manufactured a run without the benefit of a hit in the third as Canha drew the first of two straight walks by Arrieta, stole second, moved to third on Arrieta's wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jed Lowrie. Alonso's homer was his second of the spring, and the A's added a run when Barreto tripled and came home on an Alejandro De Aza groundout.

Cubs Up Next: John Lackey will make his second spring start on Monday (MLB.TV), but his first in the Cactus League. Lackey gave up one hit over two innings against Team Italy in his last outing, but those statistics don't count toward Spring Training. The Cubs travel to Peoria, Ariz., to face the Padres. First pitch is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. CT. 

Athletics Up Next: Kendall Graveman, the likely candidate to start Opening Day for the A's (assuming Sonny Gray is still out of action), will make his third start of the spring Monday in Oakland's 1:05 p.m. PT game vs. the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. The game can be heard via an exclusive webcast. Position players Ryon Healy, Trevor Plouffe and Canha are slated to play again Monday, giving them each back-to-back starts.

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John Schlegel is a national reporter for You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.