MESA, Ariz. -- Justin Ruggiano and Anthony Rizzo combined for three runs, Albert Almora delivered a tiebreaking RBI single and Mike Olt smacked a two-run home run to lift the Cubs to a 6-4 victory Tuesday over an Athletics split squad.
Ruggiano hit a RBI double in the first and a two-run homer in the third, driving in Rizzo both times, and Almora delivered an RBI single with one out in the eighth as the Cubs won for the second straight game.
Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs' Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 13-4 at Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, gave up one run on two hits and three walks over two innings in his first Cactus League start. The right-hander walked three batters in only four of his 27 starts last season, and posted a 1.058 WHIP for the season.
"It's not what you're looking for, but it was one of those days," Hendricks said of the walks. "My mechanics were off, even in the bullpen warming up. I couldn't get a fastball where I wanted to today to save my life."
Hendricks walked Billy Burns to open the Athletics' first, and one out later, he stole second. Josh Donaldson walked and Burns swiped third to set up Brandon Moss' RBI single. Burns now has seven stolen bases this spring.
"He's quick," Hendricks said of Burns. "But honestly, at this point, it's good at this point to see a guy like that on the bases. I got to work on a lot of stuff -- hold and pick, slide stepping, hold them on at second base. Yeah, he stole two bases but at least I was able to work on a lot of stuff and that will help me out down the road when I do get fast guys on base."
The Cubs tied the game with two outs in the first as Rizzo doubled and scored on Ruggiano's double. The two combined again with two outs in the third when Rizzo singled and Ruggiano followed with his home run. Rizzo batted .189 off left-handed pitchers last year and was 2-for-2 against the A's Tommy Milone.
Milone, who is trying to win a spot in Oakland's rotation, gave up three runs on five hits over three innings.
Josh Reddick hit an RBI single with two outs in the Oakland fifth off Jonathan Sanchez to drive in Burns, who had walked and advanced on Moss' single. The Athletics tied the game on Eric Sogard's RBI single in the sixth, driving in Sam Fuld, who had doubled.
Matt Szczur was hit by a pitch with one out in the eighth, stole second and scored on Almora's single to center off Michael Ynoa. Olt followed Almora with his first spring home run.
Up next: Jeff Samardzija will make his second spring start on Wednesday when the Cubs play host to the Rockies at Cubs Park in Mesa. Samardzija, who was the Cubs' Opening Day starter last season, gave up two hits over two scoreless innings in his first outing in the Cactus League opener agaisnt the Diamondbacks. He'll be followed by lefty Chris Rusin, who is competing for a spot in the rotation. Rusin was roughed up by the Angels in his first start, giving up four runs on five hits over two innings. The game will be broadcast on Cubs.com.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.