3/20 Rangers 6, Cubs 2; Cubs 5, Athletics 5 (10 innings)
What went right:
Against the Rangers in Mesa, Ryan Dempster gave up two runs on four hits over six innings, the longest outing by a Cubs pitcher this spring. Starlin Castro and Blake DeWitt each had two hits, including a triple apiece, and Anthony Rizzo had two hits. In Phoenix, Tony Campana was 4-for-5 and Alfredo Amezaga 2-for-3 against the Athletics, in a game that ended in a 5-5 tie. Rodrigo Lopez gave up one earned run on three hits over five innings and struck out four.
What went wrong:
Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo served up the tie-breaking runs in the eighth against the Rangers, who won, 6-2. Blake Parker gave up a leadoff homer to Oakland’s Jonny Gomes to spark a three-run ninth in Phoenix, and the game ended in a 5-5 tie.
“You get traded for a guy like [Sean] Marshall, who’s an outstading pitcher, and you want to come over here and show what you can do and I haven’t been. It’s all going to work out. I’m going to get it together and get after it.” — Cubs pitcher Travis Wood, who gave up seven runs on seven hits and two walks in two innings against the Mariners on Monday.
Carlos Marmol was pulled from Tuesday’s game in Mesa because of a cramp in his right hand and was to undergo an MRI as a precautionary measure. He started the seventh against the Rangers and got the first two batters out, then hit Chris Robinson. Marmol threw two pitches to Mike Olt and manager Dale Sveum noticed the pitcher flexing his right hand. Sveum and athletic trainer Ed Halbur went to the mound and the right-hander was lifted, although Marmol argued to stay in the game.
Ian Stewart, sidelined with soreness in his right quad, returned to the lineup in Phoenix and was 0-for-2 with a walk.
Paul Maholm will start at Fitch Park on Wednesday in a Minor League game.
After an off day Wednesday, Matt Garza will take the mound Thursday when the Cubs play the Rangers for the fourth time in six days. This will be Garza’s fourth start. He’s coming off a solid performance against the Giants in which he gave up three hits and walked one over four innings. Alfonso Soriano will be back in the lineup, batting third. He has four homers this spring, which ranks among the ML leaders. The game will be broadcast on Comcast Sports Net and Cubs.com.
– Carrie Muskat