TEMPE, Ariz. — Cubs first baseman Ryan Court, a minor-league free agent signed in December, cleared the bases with a two-out double to left-center field in the top of the ninth inning to break a 3-3 tie en route to a 6-4 victory Friday. He got two RBI on the hit (a third scored on an error) and finished 1-for-2. Court, 29, is 5-for-10 this spring with two doubles and a home run. The Cubs improved to 5-1-2.
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Heyward joins auditions
Right fielder Jason Heyward, who has struggled at the plate for lengthy stretches each of the last two seasons, batted first as manager Joe Maddon added him to the mix of potential leadoff hitters. “We’ll take it for a test drive,” Maddon said. “I like what he’s doing right now and just want to make sure that we look at every possibility.” Hitless in his first three games, Heyward doubled to the opposite-field gap and grounded out in his two other at-bats. He’s 1-for-8 with two walks.
After missing much of the last week, third baseman Kris Bryant returned to the lineup and singled to left in his first at-bat. He struck out in his other. “I don’t know that he’s 100 [percent] strength-wise, but he’s feeling pretty darn good,” Maddon said. “If he comes through this [without issue], we might give him a shot to get back out there [Saturday].”
Q and eh
Jose Quintana made his first start of the spring and pitched three batters — all of whom singled — into the second before he was done. “I feel great. My arm’s good,” he said. “I feel I battled my delivery. There’s plenty of time to be ready and try to execute pitches in different situations. But it’s the first time, and I feel good.” He certainly looked fine against the teeth of the Angels’ order. After walking Mike Trout with one out, he struck out Justin Upton and got Albert Pujols on an inning-ending grounder.
Reds at Cubs, Mesa, Luis Castillo vs. Tyler Chatwood, 2:05 p.m. Saturday, 670-AM.