Pitching in his first non-“B” game of the spring, Cubs newcomer Jason Hammel walked the bases loaded in the first before escaping the jam and pitching two cleaner innings for a scoreless start. “I was battling a little bit of butterflies. I had some nervous anxiety there,” said Hammel, whose “B” game start came at Cubs Park in front of a relatively small crowd. “It was exciting because it’s the first time of the year to get out there onto a mound in front of a crowd. But I was able to battle through it.”
Right fielder Nate Schierholtz had a walk and two hits, including a two-run blast he pulled over the right-field wall in the first for his first spring homer.
Northwestern left-hander Eric Jokisch struck out four in three scoreless innings among four relievers who combined for eight strikeouts and one walk in six innings.
Utility man Emilio Bonifacio showed off his speed again with a two-out triple to right-center that drove in a run. That’s two triples for him, including his first at-bat of the spring.
Lefty reliever James Russell threw his first bullpen side session Saturday morning since having his work limited because of a dead arm. He said he felt good, and barring a setback, he’s scheduled for one more session, after which he could be ready for a Cactus League debut by the end of the week.
Brewers at Cubs, 3:05 p.m., cubs.com (audio), Kyle Hendricks vs. Tyler Thornburg.