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Rockies 11, Cubs 6: Jon Lester tunes up for Cubs’ opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The results weren’t pretty, but Jon Lester survived a four-inning, 72-pitch tuneup in preparation for his Opening Day start Thursday in Texas during the Cubs’ 11-6 loss to the Rockies at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.

Lester gave up nine hits, a walk, and hit a guy with, allowing three-run innings in the first and third.

“Thank goodness it doesn’t mean nothing and you move on and get ready for Thursday,” said Lester, who got good feedback from his catcher and otherwise said he feels ready for the opener.

Roster moves

Lester in a start earlier this spring.

The Cubs optioned outfielder Ian Happ, catcher Taylor Davis and right-handers Alec Mills and Dillon Maples to Class AAA Iowa and reassigned outfielder Johnny Field and infielder Cristhian Adames to minor-league camp.

They also released non-roster right-hander Junichi Tazawa.

Big day for Descalso

Infielder Daniel Descalso, who hadn’t played since March 9 because of shoulder soreness, returned to action in the minor-league game Saturday, batting five times as the DH.

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“Probably the most exciting part was the swing and miss where he didn’t feel anything,” manager Joe Maddon said.

Descalso is expected play in another minor league game Sunday – at least two innings each at second base and shortstop – then get in at least one big-league game before breaking camp Tuesday.

Darvish on tap

Yu Darvish, who suffered a blister on his right ring finger in his March 19 start, has progressed well enough that he followed Friday’s bullpen session by playing catch vigorously Saturday.

The club confirmed he’ll make Sunday’s final start of the spring in the more controlled environment of a minor-league game.

On deck

Cubs at Padres, Peoria, 2:10 p.m. Sunday, Ch. 9, 670-AM, Mike Montgomery vs. Logan Allen.