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Carlos Zambrano calls his tired arm ‘normal’

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

MESA, Ariz. — Carlos Zambrano complained of arm fatigue after battling through a scoreless three innings in his second start Thursday against a Texas Rangers split squad, but neither he nor the Cubs consider it serious.

‘‘It was just tired,’’ said Zambrano, who coincidentally put on a power show during batting practice before the game. ‘‘It’s normal. I wasn’t feeling power in my arm, but I guarantee you I will work hard and feel good in my next start.’’

He still had an effective sinker and slider. The ‘‘dead-arm’’ feeling typically affects him once a spring.

‘‘He wasn’t near as sharp as he was the other day, but he did great,’’ manager Mike Quade said.

Meeting a success?

Quade said he was happy with the effort and performance Thursday after a team meeting to address not only Wednesday’s dugout fight but also the team’s sloppy play so far.

‘‘I was trying to think if I’ve ever felt better about a tough 8-7 loss,’’ he said. ‘‘Fifteen runs, 25 hits, three hours and change, and we made one mistake. Mentally and physically we made one mistake. If we do that, we’ll be just fine.’’

Non-roster infielder Scott Moore dropped a low throw in the sixth while playing first for the Cubs’ lone error after 14 in the first four games.

‘‘It was really a good day’s work, and it needs to continue,’’ said Quade, who watched pregame drills from a hill overlooking both fields being used. ‘‘I stopped the bunt defense three or four minutes earlier than scheduled on the front field because I was so pleased with what I saw.’’

Looper ‘geeked’

Braden Looper, the non-roster right-hander competing for one of two rotation openings, pitched in his first game at any level since winning 14 games for Milwaukee in 2009.

He said he was too ‘‘geeked up’’ in his first inning of work, which led to two hits and a run, but settled down for a 1-2-3 inning to finish up.

‘‘I tell you, it felt good to get out there and be in a competitive situation again,’’ said Looper, who sat out last season after he didn’t get a free-agent offer he was willing to accept. ‘‘It’s been a long time.’’

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