3/3 Looper excited about 1st outing

Braden Looper was on the mound for the first time since October 2009 and he was a little amped up.

“It felt good to be out there in a competitive situation again,” said the right-hander, who is trying to comeback with the Cubs after a one-year hiatus. “It’s been a long time. That first inning, I was a little too pumped up. I went back in the dugout and said, ‘Man, I have to slow down.’ After that, I felt really good.”

He entered in the fourth against the Rangers at HoHoKam Park and gave up back to back hits, then a sacrifice fly to Matt Treanor. But Looper got Endy Chavez to ground into an inning ending double play.

A 12-year veteran, Looper signed a Minor League contract with the Cubs. He hasn’t asked when he’ll start, but is expecting one.

“Coming in, when I signed, that was the consensus was that they would give me the opportunity,” Looper said. “When that is, I don’t know. Right now, I’m just glad to get out there and compete and go from there. That was step one. Step two was going back out there that second inning and feeling a lot better and hopefully I can carry that on.”

In the second inning, Looper retired the side, and ended the fifth by striking out Esteban German.

— Carrie Muskat

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