Split-squad split for Cubs, who beat Team Japan, fall to Brewers

MESA, Ariz. — Cubs starter John Lackey gave up a one-out solo home run in the first but gave up only two hits and a walk the rest of his five-inning exhibition start against World Baseball Classic semifinalist Japan in a 6-4 exhibition victory.

But 20 miles away in Maryvale, Ariz., minor-league starter Jake Buchanan was not as sharp in the Cactus League road half of the doubleheader against the Brewers, giving up four in the first. Four unearned runs in the third turned on the rout in the 13-7 loss.

Lackey rolls

The veteran retired 11 of the final 12 he faced in the 93-degree heat.

Munenori Kawasaki, shown here earlier this spring, had a big day against Team Japan.

“I felt pretty good the whole time really,” he said. “The arm is feeling good right now. The other stuff is coming along, getting a little better each start.”


Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and John Andreoli each hit solo shots against the Brewers, and Jacob Hannemann added a two-run shot in that game.

Russell leads the Cubs with four official home runs this spring; Andreoli also has four, counting his three in the WBC for Italy.


For most of the spring, the results have not looked much different for Jason Heyward than they did during his career-worst season at the plate last year.

But after a 2-for-3 game against Japan that included an opposite-field single and a sharply hit out that required a backhand stab by the first baseman, Heyward is 5-for-9 in his last three games (over last four days).

The first-inning out and a third-inning single to right both drove in runs.


Munenori Kawasaki, the Cubs’ Japanese infielder manager Joe Maddon wanted playing short and batting leadoff against Team Japan, reached on an infield single and walked in his first two trips to the plate – stealing second base and eventually scoring each time.

He also lined out to left in the sixth.

On deck

Royals at Cubs, Mesa, Ariz., 9:05 p.m. (CT), CSN, 670-AM, Ian Kennedy vs. Mike Montgomery.