Albert Almora Jr., shown here making a catch Saturday, shrugged off Friday’s sore neck to go 4-for-8 against the Reds the last two days -- including two homers and a double Sunday.

Albert Almora Jr. homers twice, Cubs split against Reds, Padres

SHARE Albert Almora Jr. homers twice, Cubs split against Reds, Padres
SHARE Albert Almora Jr. homers twice, Cubs split against Reds, Padres



Big numbers in Vegas

Alec Mills gave up a big first inning and was tagged with the loss Sunday in Mesa, Arizona, and Albert Almora hit two home runs and drove in five runs in the Cubs’ rout of the Reds in Las Vegas. The Cubs scored 33 runs in 16 innings in their two games against the Reds in Vegas.

Bryzzo Souvenir Co.

After switching spots with Kyle Schwarber so he could bat leadoff, Anthony Rizzo — who didn’t play Saturday — hit the first pitch he saw in Vegas over the right-field wall to open the Cubs’ six-run first inning. Kris Bryant, his partner in the Bryzzo Co., gave his hometown crowd more to cheer about with a double in the first, two walks and a charging play on a slow roller for an out.

Signs of life?

Jason Heyward’s months-long swing-resurrection process produced a home run Saturday, and he walked three times against the Padres. That suggests a comfort level as the season approaches. A few days earlier, manager Joe Maddon said he liked Heyward’s approach ‘‘a lot, not a little bit,’’ despite his lack of results this spring. ‘‘The results are going to eventually show up; I absolutely believe that,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘I could see it all coming together for him.’’

90 feet and done

Schwarber, who caught in a game Friday for the first time in a year and started Saturday, made only one trip to the plate against the Reds. He drew a walk in the first before departing for a pinch runner, but it wasn’t health-related. In fact, Maddon said he hopes to get his emergency catcher behind the plate once more, probably in a minor-league game again, before camp breaks.

On deck

Cubs at Indians, Goodyear, 8:10 p.m., 670-AM, Jon Lester vs. Tyler Olson.

— Gordon Wittenmyer


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