Anthony Rizzo homers, Brian Duensing (back) exits, Cubs lose 8-6

This one hurt

The Mariners peppered left-hander Brian Duensing for five hits and four runs (with an error along the way) in the ninth inning at Sloan Park.

Duensing, who signed a one-year, $2 million deal over the winter, left the mound with one out and the bases loaded because of tightness in his lower back. He will be re-evaluated Friday morning.

Taking the fifth

Anthony Rizzo, shown last week signing autographs (and apparently messing up a girl's baseball), hit his first homer of the spring Thursday.

“Hybrid” fifth-starter tandem Mike Montgomery and Brett Anderson each worked two innings to open the game, each allowing one run — Montgomery on a homer in the third, Anderson on a two-out double followed by a run-scoring single in the third.

“The command wasn’t the best, but I felt good,” Montgomery said. “Just building arm strength. It was definitely a step in the right direction again.”

Schwarber brings glove

Slugging leadoff man Kyle Schwarber, considered the weak link in the Cubs’ projected starting defense, made a leaping catch at the wall in left to rob Tyler Smith of extra bases leading off the sixth.

Rizzo brings bat

All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo had a long home run past right field in the first inning — his first homer in spring training — then added a double to right in the sixth.

‘B’ roll

Prospects Victor Caratini and Bijan Rademacher each hit two-run homers, and starter Casey Kelly gave up one run (on a homer) in two innings in the Cubs’ 8-5 loss to the Angels in a “B” game played on the Cubs’ main practice field. Infielder Tommy La Stella went 1-for-4 with a single in that game.

On deck

Cubs at Mariners, Peoria, 2:10 p.m., cubs.com audio, Kyle Hendricks vs. Chris Heston.