Cubs go Schwarbombing to beat White Sox in crosstown spring fling
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Leadoff man Kyle Schwarber’s three-run homer in the third gave the Cubs the lead, and left-hander Rob Zastryzny took over at that point with three innings of scoreless relief as the Cubs beat the White Sox 7-3 at Camelback Ranch in the second meeting between the crosstown rivals this spring.
The teams tied 4-4 in their first meeting, Feb. 27, at the Cubs’ home park.
The lefty slugger’s homer off left-hander Derek Holland was a mammoth shot well beyond the wall in right field and over the bullpen.
It was his second homer of the spring. He also singled home a run off Holland in the fifth.
The right stuff
Schwarber made his first start of the spring in right field, in large part to get him acclimated for the few times he might play there during the season in parks where left field is more spacious and less forgiving (such as Pittsburgh).
Center of attention
Right-fielder Jason Heyward got a day in center with the Schwarber move.
A major storyline of the spring because of his efforts to fix the swing that led to his worst offensive performance of his career in 2016, Heyward lined to right, grounded to second and struck out in three at-bats. He’s 5-for-35 this spring (.143).
Arrieta heats up
Jake Arrieta made his scheduled start Friday in a minor-league game against Angels’ Class AAA players, throwing 75 pitches in five innings, with six strikeouts and three walks. The only hit allowed was a two-out single to the last batter he faced, at which point the inning was called.
He said he used all his pitches and especially liked the command and effectiveness of his curve ball – in particular locating it for first-pitch strikes.
“It’s something that puts in the back of their mind, `OK, he will do this,’ “ Arrieta said. “It’s a good weapon to possess, especially at this time of year to get it ready for April.”
Saturday (split squad doubleheader): Team Japan (of WBC) at Cubs, Mesa, Ariz., 3:05 p.m. (CT), cubs.com audio, John Lackey vs. TBA; Cubs at Brewers, Maryvale, Ariz., 3:05 p.m. (CT), 670-AM, Jake Buchanan vs. Junior Guerra.