Team leaving HohoKam: Cubs lose stadium finale

Team moving to new park after 17 years at HoHoKam
2013-03-29T00:00:00Z Team leaving HohoKam: Cubs lose stadium finaleThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 29, 2013 12:00 am  • 

MESA - One last time at HoHoKam Stadium, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh inning was changed to include the lyric, "If the Cubs don't win it's a shame."

Thursday's game marked the end of a 17-year stay by the Chicago Cubs at HoHoKam as their spring training home. The club moves into a new facility about four miles away next year.

"It'll be interesting to see how the new one compares to some of the other nice parks in Arizona," said 74-year-old Wes Odean, an Elmhurst, Ill., resident down for spring training. "This place has been good, but now we will have something that should be really special."

The fans turned out to say goodbye, 11,635 were in attendance as the Cubs lost 6-4 to the Seattle Mariners.

The Cubs had a 132-119-13 all-time record at HoHoKam, which become the home of the Oakland Athletics starting in 2015. The overall attendance at HoHoKam since 1997 was 2,610,736.

Cubs No. 5 starter Carlos Villanueva went five innings in his final spring training start and allowed four hits, three runs - one earned - and two walks with three strikeouts.

"It's been good the last two times out," he said. "I have been able to treat it like real game speed and I have been very pleased with the results. I'm getting a lot more groundballs so today was good.

"I'm happy and healthy and that's all that really matters."

Cubs manager Dale Sveum feels the clubs is better prepared personnel-wise heading into his second year as manager.

"We filled a lot of holes that we had last year," he said. "Our bullpen should throw a lot more strikes, our defense will be better and our offense will have more left-handed hitters."

Mariners No. 2 starter Hisashi Iwakuma was scheduled to throw 80 pitches but came out after four innings because a dry skin on his fingertips. He said through an interpreter that it happens every spring and it was nothing to be worried about.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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