Cubs 7, Diamondbacks 5
Jeff Samardzija had no complaints Monday.
Samardzija helped himself with a solo home run in the fifth and pitched 4 2-3 innings, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 7-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.
”Close your eyes, and you run into some things sometimes,” Samardzija said of his home run.
He then used the word ”outstanding” to describe how he pitched.
”The results aren’t what we wanted. A couple of home runs and a couple of hanging off-speed pitches will do that to you but I tell you what, I like pitching against this team,” Samardzija said. ”They play ball the right way. They have an approach at the plate, the whole lineup does, and they jump on your mistakes. It’s a great team to pitch against. They’re well coached. Probably the best I felt all spring. We’ll get those off-speed pitches down in the zone and be all right.”
Samardzija, earlier this month tabbed the Cubs’ opening day starter, allowed four runs on four hits, including a pair of home runs, and walked two. He also struck out two and walked two in his longest outing of spring training.
Despite only having given up two runs on four hits in five innings combined from his first two spring starts, Samardzija saw plenty of good in Monday’s effort.
”(Monday) was a big turn for me, just how I felt, my pitch execution. If I missed I didn’t miss by much,” he said. ”The adjustments I need to make are pretty simple, I feel. I’m excited. Obviously I’ve still got three or four more starts to go which is good and we’ll fine tune some things, but I felt good.”
Second baseman Darwin Barney hit a go-ahead two-run double in the seventh and added a pair of solid defensive plays for the Cubs. Welington Castillo had tied the score at 4 with a two-run shot with two out, after Diamondbacks reliever David Holmberg struck out the first two hitters he faced in the sixth.
Adam Eaton continued his hot hitting with a two-run homer for the Diamondbacks. Eaton, set to be the team’s regular center fielder this season, has hit safely in 11 of 15 games and is batting .395.
”He’s a scrappy hitter. He had two strikes, he’s going to stay on the ball a little longer,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. ”He’s stronger than people think.”
Arizona starter Trevor Cahill turned in his best effort of spring training, pitching four innings (61 pitches) and allowing a run on three hits. He struck out five including the side in the second inning.
Infielder Didi Gregorius connected for a pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the fifth to give the Diamondbacks a 4-2 lead.
NOTES: Diamondbacks LHP Wade Miley was scratched from his start on Tuesday due to a tired arm. Gibson expects Miley to be able to throw in a couple of days. . 3B Eric Chavez was scratched from Monday’s lineup after taking a groundball to the forehead during a fielding workout before the game. Mark Teahen replaced Chavez in the starting lineup. . 2B Aaron Hill left the game in the third inning after hitting a double. He is dealing with a stomach virus. . RHP Josh Collmenter starts for Arizona against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, while LHP Patrick Corbin gets the call in a split squad game against the Seattle Mariners in Peoria, Ariz. . The Cubs get their first off day of spring training on Tuesday. . RHP Edwin Jackson starts for the Cubs on Wednesday against the Rockies. . A sellout crowd of 12,436 was announced at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, spring training home of the Diamondbacks.