Crowd roars for Kerry
By GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com February 28, 2011 10:57PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
MESA, Ariz. — Kerry Wood’s spring debut in his second go-around with the Cubs didn’t go unnoticed by even the relatively sparse crowd at HoHoKam Park when he jogged in from the bullpen Monday to start the sixth inning against a Milwaukee Brewers split squad.
A few cheers turned into a head-turning roar by the time he reached the mound, and it rose again when he was announced, with a smattering of fans offering a standing ovation.
‘‘The response was great,’’ said Wood, who had two called strikeouts on nasty breaking balls but had a couple of fastballs driven for extra-base hits in his two-run inning. ‘‘It was good to get out there and get the first one out of the way.’’
As for whether the warm reception confirmed he made the right decision by returning on that $1.5 million discount contract, he said, ‘‘It was never about trying to get a reception. It was more about just being home. It’s better than getting booed off the field when you come back.’’
Manager Mike Quade is trying to keep things in perspective, but he’s not happy about back-to-back three-error games to open the Cactus League schedule.
‘‘It is early, but the crooked numbers on the errors side [of the scoreboard] will get cleaned up,’’ he said. ‘‘And if we’re going to play well, they have to be.’’
Gold Glove first baseman Carlos Pena made a first-inning error on a hot grounder, pitcher Andrew Cashner made a third-inning throwing error on a pickoff attempt and second baseman Jeff Baker dropped a fifth-inning pop-up.
Outfielder Fernando Perez was slow to get up after bending his surgically repaired left wrist on a diving catch in the right-center gap.
‘‘It scares you more than anything,’’ said Perez, who dislocated the wrist on a similar play in a spring-training game two years ago. ‘‘I’ve become a bad tumbler since I had the surgery. I’m fine. I just took a tumble that I didn’t really enjoy very much.’’