3/18 Cubs 3, Rangers 2
What went right:
Chris Volstad gave up one run on four hits over four innings against the Rangers in another strong spring outing. The right-hander is staying in the race for a spot in the rotation. Bobby Scales hit a go-ahead RBI double in the eighth and Joe Mather hit a tie-breaking homer in the ninth in Las Vegas for the win. Rafael Dolis, a top candidate to be one of the set-up pitchers in the ‘pen, picked up the save. In Mesa, Starlin Castro, Tony Campana and Josh Vitters each had two hits against the White Sox.
What went wrong:
Maybe it was the chilly 51-degree weather in Las Vegas, but the Cubs mustered two hits over the first eight innings. In Mesa against the White Sox, Andy Sonnanstine served up five runs on six hits in one inning.
“I try not to think about too many things and keep it simple. I feel like this is what I should be able to do time and time again. Surprised? No. Happy with the way things are going? Definitely.” — pitcher Chris Volstad after his outing vs. the Rangers in Las Vegas
Blake DeWitt started his second straight game on Sunday in Las Vegas, playing left field. He was hit by a pitch on his right hand Thursday. Ian Stewart and Darwin Barney both expected back on Monday. Stewart has been sidelined with tightness in his right quad while Barney had tightness in his left side.
Dale Sveum could name his Opening Day starter this week. Sveum said he wanted to see Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza pitch one more time before announcing the decision.
Travis Wood will try to slow things down on Monday when the lefty makes his second start and third spring appearance, facing the Mariners in Peoria. Wood has struggled so far, and served up six runs on three hits and two walks over one-third of an inning in his last outing. The lefty is a candidate for one of the two openings in the rotation as is Randy Wells, who will pitch in a “B” game in Goodyear against the Indians. The game against the Mariners will be broadcast on Cubs.com.
– Carrie Muskat