Ben Zobrist picks up pace in second game at Class A South Bend

Zobrist was sharp during his four innings at second base, turning a double play in the first. He also went 2-for-3 with two singles and a run.

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Ben Zobrist picked up the pace for his second day with the Cubs’ Class A affiliate in South Bend on Saturday.

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Ben Zobrist picked up the pace in his second day with the Cubs’ Class A affiliate Saturday.

Zobrist looked fatigued after his 30-plus minutes of pregame field work and batting practice, but he was sharp during his four innings at second base, turning a double play in the first. He also went 2-for-3 with two singles and a run.

“At each at-bat he keeps looking better and better because he’s seeing the ball,” manager Buddy Bailey said after the South Bend Cubs’ 11-6 loss to Great Lakes. “And he showed it today.”

Zobrist, who didn’t talk to the media again, is with the team as part of a monthlong process to return to the majors after he put his career on hold in May to take care of his family during his pending divorce.

Though he’s focusing on his comeback, Zobrist has taken time to work with minor-league players, who commended him for his work ethic and graciousness.

“All the outside factors are put away when he plays, which is something any good big-leaguer has to do,” shortstop Andy Weber said. “And he’s very much in the moment, which is another thing anyone can learn from.”

Two hours before the game, a long line had started near the first-base line, where Zobrist also signed autographs Friday.

Some fans stood in line for an hour but didn’t get the chance to meet Zobrist, who interacted with fans for 30 minutes.

Those who missed the cut will have one final chance Sunday. Zobrist told Bailey he wanted to start at second again, but that’s still up in the air.

“A lot depends on how his body responds and everything else getting back,” Bailey said.

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