Cubs 8, Diamondbacks 7

Thanks to freshly minted Arizona Diamondbacks multimillionaire

Justin Upton and a slew of Chicago Cubs prospects, it was an

afternoon for youth at HoHoKam Park.

Upton’s sixth-inning grand slam, his first hit since signing a

$51.25 million, six-year contract, wasn’t enough for the Arizona

Diamondbacks in an 8-7 loss to Chicago on Friday.

Brad Snyder, one of four first-round draft picks to come through

for the Cubs, hit a two-run, ninth-inning double off Esmerling

Vasquez in a game that began with Chicago’s Carlos Zambrano and

Diamondbacks’ Dan Haren each pitching two hitless innings.

Tyler Colvin had a two-run single and a double. That gave the

Cubs’ No. 1 2006 amateur pick three doubles, a homer, a single and

three RBIs in six at-bats.

Upton was an All-Star at age 21 last season, batting .300 with

26 homers and 86 RBIs. On Wednesday, he was rewarded with a $51.25

million, six-year contract, the second-richest in franchise

history.

He had gone 0 for 4 in the first two exhibitions before Friday’s

sixth inning, when he sent a Jeff Stevens pitch high off the

scoreboard beyond the left-field bleachers for a 5-4 lead.

“He reached the upper deck in Florida last year, so I don’t

know if anything will surprise me,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “It

was good to see him get his timing down. He was jammed the first

time up but he made an adjustment and didn’t miss that one, for

sure.”

Tyler Colvin, the Cubs’ No. 1 draft pick in 2006, had a two-run

single and a double, making him 5 for 6 with four extra-base hits

and three RBIs in two games. Josh Vitters, the 2007 top pick,

singled twice and scored twice. Brett Jackson, last year’s No. 1,

tripled home a run. And heralded 19-year-old shortstop Starlin

Castro doubled and singled.

Snyder, Cleveland’s No. 1 pick in 2003, was claimed off waivers

by the Cubs in 2008.

“The first day we got together I said, `Look, you guys work

hard and get prepared, we’re going to play you, especially

early,”’ said manager Lou Piniella, who rested all of his

regulars. “They’re making good on their opportunities, and we’ll

continue to play them.”

He was especially impressed with Colvin, who has an outside shot

at claiming the fifth outfield spot.

As for the pitchers, Zambrano retired all six batters he faced,

matching what Randy Wells did Thursday.

“When you work harder, you get better results,” said Zambrano,

who reported to camp in great shape after winning only nine games

last year. “This will be my ninth year in the big leagues, and I’m

looking forward to getting better.”

Haren, who like Zambrano is expected to be his team’s

opening-day starter, walked one but faced the minimum six

batters.

“I don’t necessarily put in 100 percent effort,” he said.

“I’m working more on mechanics and getting a feel for all my

pitches. I’ve still got a long way to go.”

NOTES: Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes said RHP Brandon Webb could

start the season on the DL after offseason shoulder surgery. Webb,

the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner, has been disappointed with his

progress. “He needs to have four or five spring training starts in

order to be ready,” Byrnes said. … MRI results on Cubs RHP Angel

Guzman’s shoulder weren’t immediately available. When asked about

Guzman’s prospects this season, Piniella said: “It doesn’t look

good.” With RHP Jeff Gray also out, Cubs GM Jim Hendry is looking

for bullpen help. … Diamondbacks 3B Mark Reynolds said the club

will renew his contract at $500,000 this season while the sides try

to work out a long-term deal through 2012. “It’s at a

standstill,” he said. “We still have until opening day. Having

talks during the season would be a distraction.”