Cactus roundup: Samardzija sharp for Cubs

Samardzija goes five scoreless innings in Cubs' win; Sale, Parker, Weaver all hit hard.


Jeff Samardzija scattered three hits over five scoreless innings for a Chicago Cubs split squad in a 5-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

Samardzija struck out three and walked one.

The Cubs were unable to capitalize on Nate Schierholtz's leadoff double in the second, but they took a 1-0 lead after Steve Clevenger opened the third with a double and Darwin Barney hit a one-out RBI single. The Cubs increased their lead to 2-0 on Starlin Castro's sacrifice fly later in the third.

Scott Hairston opened the fourth with a homer to left that gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

The Cubs increased their lead to 5-0 in the fifth on RBI singles by Dioner Navarro and Brian Bogusevic.

Losing pitcher Nick Tepesch allowed five hits, three runs, struck out two and walked one over five innings for the Rangers.


GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) --
Asdrubel Cabrera and Jason Giambi each homered to lead Cleveland to a 4-3 win over a Giants split squad on Saturday.

Cabrera, recently returned from the World Baseball Classic, hit his first spring home run off Double-A pitcher Chris Heston. Giambi, a non-roster invitee hit his second home run off Jake Dunning.

The Indians held a 2-1 lead going into the ninth.

Carlos Carrasco, one of three Cleveland pitchers competing for the last spot in the rotation, pitched five innings. The right-hander allowed one run and two hits. He struck out five.

Roger Kieschnick doubled twice and scored two runs for the Giants, including the game-tying run in the ninth.

Delvi Cid's two-out triple capped a game-winning, two-run rally for Cleveland.


Kendrys Morales hit his third home run of spring training and Erasmo Ramirez tossed six strong innings as the Seattle Mariners beat the Colorado Rockies 5-2 Saturday.

Mike Jacobs also homered and Jesus Montero and Carlos Pequero each added two hits, an RBI and a run scored for Seattle. Michael Morse was on base all three times and raised his spring average to .375.

Ramirez, projected as the No 4 or 5 starter for the Mariners, allowed a run and three hits to the first five batters he faced before settling down. He allowed five hits and one run over the next five innings. He allowed just two runs over 12 innings this spring, with nine strikeouts and one walk.


SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) --
Clayton Kershaw allowed two singles in six stellar innings, but a Texas Rangers split squad scored four runs immediately after he departed and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 Saturday.

Kershaw, the 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner, struck out six and walked none, throwing 47 strikes in 70 pitches. After allowing 17 hits and eight earned runs in eight innings in his first three spring training starts, Kershaw has given up four hits and one unearned run in 11 innings in his past two.

Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison, an 18-game winner last season, limited the Dodgers to one hit, a single by Alfredo Amezaga leading off the game, in five innings. The Dodgers managed just one other hit.

Brandon League replaced Kershaw in the seventh and David Murphy homered on his second pitch to start a four-run inning with the Rangers sending 10 men to the plate.


GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) --
Chris Sale had his worst start of spring training, giving up five runs and seven hits in five-plus innings, but a Chicago White Sox split squad roughed up Jarrod Parker and the Oakland Athletics in an 11-5 win Saturday.

A day after amassing 15 hits, the White Sox banged out 17 more in the romp.

A's cleanup hitter Josh Donaldson hit his first homer of spring training that counted -- he had two taken away in a rained out game against Seattle on March 8.

Outfielder Jordan Danks, a long shot to make the White Sox as a bench player, had a single, double and two RBIs a day after hitting a home run and driving in five runs.


PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) --
Diamondbacks ace Ian Kenndey gave up consecutive homers then was hit on knee by a comebacker on next pitch, and Arizona lost 10-6 to the San Diego Padres on Saturday.

Kennedy bruised his left knee but should remain on his regular schedule. He left after getting hit and having allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings, his first earned runs allowed this spring.

Padres starter Tyson Ross pitched 5 1/3 shutout innings, extending his scoreless streak to 11 1-3 innings.

Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso had his first multihit game of spring training, going 2 for 3 with a home run, a double and two RBIs.


MESA, Ariz. (AP) --
Alfonso Soriano connected for one of three first-inning homer against Bruce Chen and a Chicago Cubs split squad beat the Kansas City Royals 8-3 Saturday.

David DeJesus led off the game with a homer to right field. Then after Brent Lillibridge doubled and Anthony Rizzo struck out, Soriano hit his second of spring training. The 20-year-old Javier Baez followed with another long ball and also hit one in the fifth inning off Chen.

Chen, compteting with three others for the fifth spot in the rotation, gave up nine hits and seven runs -- six earned -- with one walk and four strikeouts in five innings.

Cubs non-roster invitee Hisanori Takahashi allowed a solo homer to Mike Moustakas in the fourth inning.

Overall, Takahashi allowed five hits, walked one and struck out one in four.


Josh Reddick hit a three-run homer off Jered Weaver in the first inning, Luke Montz and Yoenis Cespedes each had two-run drives in the second off the Angels' ace and an Oakland Athletics split squad blew a big lead before rallying for a 13-13 tie with Los Angeles on Saturday.

Weaver gave up eight runs and six hits, walked two and did not strike out a batter in two innings.

Left-hander Travis Blackley started for the A's and gave up three runs in the first on three hits, then settled down to give up just two hits in his two remaining innings.

The A's and Angels combined for 33 hits and used 14 pitchers.


Aroldis Chapman rebounded from a first-inning jam in his fourth appearance and second start of spring training, helping the Cincinnati Reds beat the San Francisco Giants 7-6 on Saturday in a split squad game for both clubs.

The Reds continue to consider whether to make the left-hander the team's fifth starter or keep him in the closer role. Chapman, who said after his outing that he prefers to be a closer, got out of a no-out, bases-loaded situation with just one run allowed.

After walking the first two hitters he faced and throwing a wild pitch, he settled down and finished his day with four innings pitched, two hits allowed, three walks and two strikeouts.

Madison Bumgarner, on track to start the second game of the regular season for the Giants, shut out the Reds after the first inning. He allowed a run on two hits with two strikeouts and walk in five innings.


Joey Votto and Ryan Hanigan homered for Cincinnati and minor leaguer Khris Davis connected twice for Milwaukee on Saturday, and a Reds split squad and the Brewers tied 9-9 in nine innings.

Reds starter Mike Leake allowed 10 hits and seven runs -- five earned -- in 3 1-3 innings of his third start.

Mike Fiers was hit as hard. He allowed eight hits and five runs in four innings in his fifth appearance and fourth start.

Davis homered off Leake in the third and off Sean Marshall in the fifth. The homers were his fourth and fifth of the spring.

Lance Roenicke's RBI single tied the game in the bottom if the ninth .

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