Albert Almora Jr., Efren Navarro homer for Cubs to back Jose Quintana vs Indians

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Quintana early in camp.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Fourth starter Jose Quintana gave up a home run and committed a fielding error but said “I can sleep good tonight” after building to 50 pitches and throwing strikes in an 11-6 Cactus League victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night at Goodyear Ballpark.

“I feel better [than the first start]; I was hitting my spots better,” said Quintana, whose error came on a routine ball hit back to the mound that rolled under his glove.

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“Extra [fielding practice] tomorrow,” he said smiling. “Too much confidence on the ground ball. It’s funny at the same time. Hopefully that doesn’t happen to me during the regular season.”

Happ gets on base (again and again)

The leadoff leaderboard this spring continues to be owned by Ian Happ, who was hit by a pitch leading off the game and walked in the third before tapping in front of the plate for an out in his final at-bat. He’s now 8-for-18 (.444) this spring with four homers, two walks and a .524 on-base percentage in seven games batting leadoff.

Nose for the (long) ball

Center fielder Albert Almora Jr., who left Tuesday’s game in the fourth with a bloody nose after falling on an aggressive play, was back in the lineup. He slugged his second homer in as many days, this one a go-ahead, three-run homer to left. He said he didn’t hit his nose on that play or any other Tuesday. “It started bleeding the beginning of the inning, and I just didn’t say anything,” Almora said. “I made it for two outs.” He blamed it on the arid Arizona air.

Navarro makes impression

First baseman Efren Navarro, signed for depth, slugged a two-run homer in the second and singled to load the bases during the three-run third. He also walked leading off the fifth and is hitting .364 this spring with three extra-base hits and three walks in 24 plate appearances.

On deck

Padres at Cubs, Mesa, Jordan Lyles vs. Tyler Chatwood, 2:05 p.m. Thursday, cubs.com audio.

Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub


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