Athletics' offense struggles in loss to Cubs

The Oakland Athletics lost to the Chicago Cubs by a score of 3-1 on Thursday afternoon

Oakland Athletics v Chicago Cubs
Oakland Athletics v Chicago Cubs / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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The Oakland Athletics struggled to get the offense going in today's matchup against the Chicago Cubs. The A's lost by a final score of 3-1.

Cubs' starter Shota Imanaga proved too much for the Athletics to handle. The lefty went 4.1 scoreless innings this afternoon, allowing just 3 hits and notching 9 strikeouts along the way.

It was the first really strong outing of the year for Imanaga, who had trouble keeping runs off the board in his previous two starts.

Athletics' lefty JP Sears wasn't able to match Imanaga. Sears went 5 innings and gave up 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 3 with no walks. Despite the two runs allowed, Sears still has a 2.08 ERA during spring training. We'll see if he can keep that momentum going as we get closer to opening day.

Despite what was largely a regular season lineup, the A's managed just 6 hits on the day, all of which were singles. Only 3 of those came from guys in the starting lineup.

The A's lone run came on an Armando Alvarez single in the top of the 7th inning. Alvarez turned around a pitch from Cubs' reliever Carl Edwards Jr, sending a ground ball back up the middle that brought Brent Rooker around to score.

Second baseman Zack Gelof struck out three times in three plate appearances this afternoon. He still has an OPS of 1.209 but it's the first real dud of the spring for him.

Overall, it was a quiet afternoon. Athletics' reliever Dany Jimenez came in and threw a scoreless inning. Sean Newcomb pitched 1.2 innings, giving up a solo home run to Cubs infielder David Bote.

Newcomb was pulled after walking Matt Mervis with two outs in the bottom of the 8th. A's reliever Tyler Ferguson came in and got outfielder Yohendrick Pinango to ground out to end the inning.

Infielder Drew Lugbauer got on base in the top of the 9th, bringing the tying run to the plate for the A's. However, Max Schuemann promptly grounded into a double play and ended the game.

The Athletics will play a pair of games tomorrow, both against the Giants. Paul Blackburn is set to face off against Jordan Hicks at 1:05 pm PST. Afterward, the A's Spring Breakout game is set to take place.

Oakland's prospects will face off against San Francisco's top youngsters later in the afternoon. We'll dive into the Spring Breakout roster tomorrow morning.

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