Eddie Butler looks strong in start as Cubs beat Dodgers 4-0

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Matt Szczur scored Albert Almora Jr. from second with a two-out single to center in the first inning, and starter Eddie Butler pitched four scoreless innings in the Cubs’ 4-0 victory. Butler (4-0) struck out four, didn’t walk a batter, allowed one hit and lowered his ERA to 2.70 in 10 innings.

Outfielders on display

Szczur, who’s battling for the final bench spot, is having a strong spring at the plate (.898 OPS) and in the field, where he made a nice running catch Thursday. Almora, who is looking to gain a big share of the starting time in center field, also is having a big spring. His double in three at-bats pushed his OPS to .904.

Hot Happ

Eddie Butler, earlier this spring

Second baseman Ian Happ, the 2015 first-round pick who has turned heads in his first big-league camp, doubled and walked twice. He’s hitting .441 with four doubles, three homers and a 1.310 OPS in 37 plate appearances.

Lester works

Opening Day starter Jon Lester worked five innings, throwing 62 pitches, in an intrasquad game against Cubs minor-leaguers. “I’m just trying to get my fastball back to the right angle and the right location,” said Lester, who threw mostly fastballs that the kids rapped for nine hits and six runs. “I missed a lot today, so I’ll just continue to work on it.”

Ace in the hole

Jake Arrieta makes his next appearance Friday in a minor-league game instead of the Cubs’ Cactus League game against the White Sox.

On deck

Cubs at Sox, Glendale,
2:05 p.m., CSN, cubs.com audio,
Duane Underwood Jr. vs. Derek Holland.


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