Ian Kennedy is Royal pain for Cubs in 6-2 loss to KC

MESA, Ariz. — Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy allowed only three hits – just one getting out of the infield – in six scoreless innings to beat the Cubs 6-2 in a Cactus League night game at Sloan Park.

Kennedy struck out seven, including MVP Kris Bryant twice, and didn’t walk a batter. He induced a pair of inning-ending double plays to face just one over the minimum.

The Cubs’ fifth/sixth-starter tandem Mike Montgomery and Brett Anderson combined for 6 1/3 innings — all of Anderson’s three runs allowed scoring after he left the game, on a bases-loaded walk and two-out single allowed by Jim Henderson.

Kid power

Addison Russell earlier this spring.

Shortstop Addison Russell, 22, lined his team-leading fifth homer of the spring over the left-field wall leading off the eighth for the Cubs’ first run.

Russell said this spring he thinks he can hit for more power after his 21-homer sophomore season.

Keep an eye on …:

South Carolina against Duke, said South Carolina native Carl Edwards Jr. before his scheduled relief outing against the Royals Sunday night.

Edwards was right in more ways than one. The hard-throwing right-hander pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning just a few minutes before the Gamecocks’ upset over Duke finished.

Edwards, whose 2016 finished with a 10th-inning appearance in Game 7 of the World Series, will get the chance this year to take a significant role in the Cubs’ late-inning plans as the season progresses.

Soler eclipse

In his return to Sloan Park, former Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler struck out twice against Montgomery and once against Anderson.

That’s 15 strikeouts this spring for Soler – three times as many as his total of Cactus League hits (5-for-41).

Heyward watch

Jason Heyward, who’s trying to rebound from his worst career season at the plate, went hitless in three more at-bats – now 5-for-38 (.132) in official Cactus League games.

He’s 5-for-15 in his last five games overall, counting two hits in an exhibition game against Japan’s WBC team Saturday. On Sunday he batted seventh, where he probably will open the season in the Cubs’ lineup.

On deck

Cubs at Rockies, Scottsdale, Ariz., 3:10 p.m. (CT), cubs.com audio, Kyle Hendricks vs. Tyler Anderson.

 


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