Eddie Butler impresses in Cubs debut to beat Royals
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SURPRISE, Ariz. — In their first road game of the spring, the Cubs came back from an early deficit and took advantage of Royals mistakes with a 12-hit attack.
Butler did it
Right-hander Eddie Butler, a once-promising young prospect for the Rockies, gave up a homer to his first batter — Alcides Escober — but retired six of his final seven in his Cubs debut. The only batter to reach against him after the homer was ex-Cub Jorge Soler, who was hit by a pitch with two out in the second.
“My main goal was to go in there and pound the strike zone and get early contact,” said Butler, who threw 18 of 21 pitches for strikes.
Butler, 25, said his goal this spring is to break camp with the club even if it looks like the projected roster numbers are against him. He said working with pitching coach Chris Bosio is paying off so far.
Catching prospect Victor Caratini had three hits, including a double. Outfield prospect John Andreoli walked and tripled. Outfield prospect Jacob Hannemann doubled home a run and scored in the ninth. And top prospect Eloy Jimenez drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh and doubled down the left-field line in the ninth.
After Escobar’s homer in the first, five Cubs pitchers held the Royals scoreless on one hit until the eighth. After Butler, Ryan Williams (two innings), Jonathan Martinez (1 1/3), Mario Meza (2/3) and Tommy Nance (one) combined for three strikeouts.
Cubs at Reds, Goodyear, 2:05 p.m., cubs.com audio, Rob Zastryzny vs. Amir Garrett; Cubs at Diamondbacks, Scottsdale, 8:10 p.m., cubs.com audio, Jake Buchanan vs. Shelby Miller.
— Gordon Wittenmyer