Cubs get 3 innings from Jeff Samardzija in loss to Diamondbacks
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com March 1, 2013 5:53PM
Chicago Cubs' Jeff Samardzija throws before an exhibition spring training baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Updated: March 1, 2013 9:36PM
MESA, Ariz. — Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija, the presumptive Opening Day starter, took the mound Friday exactly one month before the season opener and pitched out of trouble to become the team’s first to reach three innings.
He handed off a 2-1 lead to the bullpen, which promptly gave it up on the way to a 6-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks at HoHoKam Stadium.
Power-pitching reliever Rafael Dolis walked three consecutive batters with one out in the sixth, forcing in two runs and leaving the bases loaded for Blake Parker. Parker surrendered a two-run double to former Cub Tony Campana before eventually getting out of the inning.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo gave the Cubs an early lead with a slicing RBI double to left in the first. He added a single to center in the third.
Stud outfield prospect Jorge Soler just missed a home run in the eighth and settled for a two-out triple on a drive to the gap in left. He was 1-for-2.
DIAMONDBACKS 6, CUBS 2
OPEN AND SHUT? Presumptive Opening Day starter Jeff Samardzija wasn’t in full command of the strike zone Friday, but he mostly pitched out of trouble — and overcame a communication lapse that turned into an uncontested stolen base for Brad Snyder in the third — to get through three innings with a 2-1 lead. A single and two walks loaded the bases with none out in the second, but a double play and a strikeout limited the damage. “The splitter was a little off, but I thought I got some good work in,” Samardzija said. “They had some good at-bats, and I got out of a couple jams, so that felt good, too.”
RETURN OF CAMPY: Fan favorite Tony Campana returned to Mesa for the first time since being traded to the Diamondbacks last month. He came off the bench to pinch-hit in the sixth inning — to cheers — and delivered a bases-loaded, two-run double to right — to even bigger cheers. “I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for me,” he said of the move to the D-backs.
THE RIZZO-NATOR: First baseman Anthony Rizzo continues to warm up for his Monday departure for the World Baseball Classic with Team Italy. He went 2-for-3 with a run-scoring double down the left-field line. Including a pair of intrasquad games, he’s 6-for-13 with three walks this spring.
FUTURE WATCH: Outfield prospect Jorge Soler just missed a home run on a drive to the gap in left in the eighth. He settled for a triple and went 1-for-2.
ON DECK: Cubs at Giants in Scottsdale, 2:05 p.m., 720-AM, Carlos Villanueva vs. Tim Lincecum.