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Cubs’ John Lackey streaky in final formal start before season

Cubs pitcher John Lackey gave up five earned runs Saturday. (AP)

MESA, Ariz. — John Lackey’s final formal dress rehearsal proved streaky.

Mixing breaking pitches with his usual fastball barrage, the Cubs’ No. 3 starter allowed two runs in the first inning before retiring 13 of 14 in an eventual 5-2 loss Saturday at Sloan Park. The one outlier during that stretch: a solo home run by the Giants’ Matt Duffy.

“It felt good,” Lackey said. “It kinda took me a little while to get loose.”

Lackey came out to pitch the sixth — the team wanted to see him get up and down one last time — before giving up two singles and leaving the game. He allowed five earned runs on six hits, with six strikeouts and no walks, in five-plus innings.

Lackey will stay in Mesa and pitch a minor-league game — he hopes into the seventh inning — Thursday.

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