Tyler Chatwood looks sharp against Giants

The right-hander, who has had his share of ups and downs with the Cubs, went 3 scoreless innings, giving up three hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

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Tyler Chatwood is the leading candidate for the No. 5 spot in the Cubs’ rotation.

Tyler Chatwood is the leading candidate for the No. 5 spot in the Cubs’ rotation.

Matt York/AP

On a day the Cubs’ offense flourished, starter Tyler Chatwood did his best to lock down the

No. 5 spot in the rotation with a solid outing.

The right-hander, who has had his share of ups and downs with the Cubs, went 3 scoreless innings, giving up three hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

Manager David Ross has touted Chatwood as the lead candidate for the final starting job, and the 30-year-old hasn’t disappointed. His fastball, cutter and changeup were effective, but his curve still needs some fine-tuning.

Though he hasn’t relied on the changeup a lot previously, he hopes to use it more.

“Yeah, I think I want to go out there and mix it up more,” he said. “It makes my fastball play harder. I just want to go out there and pitch, and I feel like I have done a really good job with that the last two times out.”

Chatwood still will operate as if the No. 5 spot isn’t his just yet, even if his manager has suggested it.

“It feels good, but I still have to go out there and pitch and get ready for a big-league season,” Chatwood said. “It’s cool to have him say that, but I’m still going to go about my routine the same way I’ve been doing.”

Runs aplenty

Willson Contreras, Javy Baez and Donnie Dewees hit home runs against the Giants as the offense pounded out 21 hits and had an 8-0 lead after 2½ innings. Baez and Contreras each had three hits.

Four Cubs had two hits apiece: Ian Happ, Josh Phegley, David Bote and Nico Hoerner. Kyle Schwarber (0-for-4) was the only Cubs starter without a hit.

More at-bats on the way

Happ, Baez and Schwarber each received four at-bats, which is expected to become the norm moving forward. Ross said he’ll treat the final seven days of Cactus League games as a chance to give his regulars four at-bats in a game. He still doesn’t want any starter playing more than seven innings until the regular season begins.

On deck

Padres at Cubs, Mesa, 8:05 p.m. Wednesday, MSN, Yu Darvish vs. Cal Quantrill.

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