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Darvish allows no runs in three-plus innings in Cubs’ 3-2 victory against Padres

He allowed four hits in his second spring start

Yu Darvish
Chicago Cubs’ Yu Darvish pitches in a simulated game at spring training in Sloan Park, Friday, March 6, 2020, in Mesa, Ariz.
Sue Ogrocki/AP

Darvish allows no runs

In what could be his last act before potentially earning the Cubs’ Opening Day starting honor, Yu Darvish allowed no runs and four hits in three-plus innings Wednesday against the Padres.

With the decision for the March 26 opener in Milwaukee down to Darvish and fellow right-hander Kyle Hendricks, according to manager David Ross, Darvish took the mound in a Cactus League game for only the second time. He also pitched in a camp game Friday.

In his only other Cactus League game this spring, Darvish gave up one run and two hits in two innings against the Brewers.

Who’s at second?

Second base and center field are possible platoon positions for the Cubs, with Jason Kipnis starting at second on Wednesday night and Albert Almora Jr. in center.

If Ross elects to use matchup advantages at those positions, they are expected to be placed toward the bottom of the lineup.

“I would rather have more of a consistent lineup at the top, [and] I think the bottom will fluctuate with matchups,” Ross said. “As much as we call it platooning or setting guys up for success, I think there is a balance between finding that rest and, at the same time, finding the best matchup. That’s the way I look at it — putting guys in a situation to succeed.”

On the move

Not long before the night game started, the Cubs sent five players to the minor-league side of the facility.

Right-hander James Norward was optioned to Class AAA Iowa. Left-handers Danny Hultzen and Wyatt Short and right-handers Ben Taylor and Dakota Mekkes were optioned to minor-league camp.

The moves left 39 players in big-league camp.

On deck

Dodgers at Cubs, Mesa, 3:05 p.m. Thursday, MSN, Ross Stripling vs. Jon Lester.