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Yu Darvish powerful in Cubs’ 4-3 loss to Brewers Saturday in Cactus League play

The potential Opening Day starter located six pitches, including a 98-mph fastball during two innings of work against the division rivals.

Darvish pitches against the Brewers Saturday.
John Antonoff photo


Sixth sense

Four of the Cubs’ five hits came during a three-run sixth inning Saturday, including Robel Garcia’s leadoff triple and Kyle Schwarber’s two-run double. Only two other Cubs reached base in the other eight innings as they fell to 3-5 in Cactus League play.

Yu nasty

Yu Darvish made an eye-opening first start of the spring, throwing six different pitches for strikes in two innings, including a fastball that reached 98 mph multiple times and an 82 mph knuckle-curve to Logan Morrison after one of those 98 mph fastballs for an inning-ending strikeout in the first. After giving up a first-pitch homer on a fastball leading off the game, Darvish retired six of the seven other batters he faced. He struck out three and walked none. What was he working on? “Playing baseball. It was the first game, so just making sure my routine was right, and the timing,” he said.

Eye on fifth-starter battle

Already a long-shot candidate for the last rotation job, rookie right-hander Adbert Alzolay has struggled in two starts, including a three-batter sequence with two outs in the third inning that went walk, single and Morrison homer. He has allowed three walks, five hits and five earned runs in three innings.

Pen notes

Duane Underwood, a 2012 second-round draft pick who is out of options, bounced back from a rough outing to pitch a 1-2-3 sixth. Right-hander Rowan Wick, last year’s rookie success story, also bounced back from an ugly first outing with a scoreless fifth that included a strikeout.

Warming trend?

Schwarber was 1-for-9 with four strikeouts in three games before a two-hit effort against the Brewers that also included a single to right in the fourth inning.

On deck

Mariners at Cubs, Mesa, 2:05 p.m. Sunday, MSN, 670-AM, Kendall Graveman vs. Jon Lester.