2/26 Cubs 4, Rockies 2

Dave Sappelt and Christian Villanueva each hit solo home runs to lift the Cubs to a 3-2 victory Tuesday over the Rockies. Edwin Jackson, making his Cubs’ Cactus League debut, gave up two hits over two scoreless innings.

“Today was pretty much evaluation, and see where I am,” Jackson said. “It’s all mental. You keep the ball down and you execute pitches and everything is pretty much good and you can have a lot of success with the ball down in the zone.”

Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin faced the minimum over two innings in his first Cactus League start. The Rockies athletic trainer had to check on the right-hander after he got Alfonso Soriano to line out for the first out in the second but Chacin stayed in the game. Apparently, he’s been bothered by a sore toe on his left foot, injured in pitcher’s fielding practice.

Villanueva hit a solo home run with one out in the Cubs third but the Rockies tied the game in the fourth as Carlos Gonzalez walked, stole second, moved up on a ground out and scored on Ben Paulsen’s single.

Starlin Castro doubled to lead off the Chicago fourth and scored two batters later on Brett Jackson’s sacrifice fly. Sappelt led off the sixth with his home run. DJ LeMahieu tripled to lead off the Rockies eighth and scored on Tim Wheeler’s sacrifice fly.

* On Wednesday, left-hander Brooks Raley will start when the Cubs play host to the Dodgers at HoHoKam Stadium. Raley was 1-2 with an 8.14 ERA in five starts with the Cubs last season, and 4-8 with a 3.62 ERA in 14 starts for Triple-A Iowa. This will be his first Cactus League start. The game will be broadcast on Cubs.com.

— Carrie Muskat


DJ LeMahieu 1……Ian Stewart 0

I’ve been impressed with Castillo this spring. In fact, I like the way the Cubs are playing as a unit. Not flashy but getting things done. Not as bad as people are projecting they’d be.

•In a piece for Insider subscribers, ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden has five crucial questions for the 2013 Phillies. Ben Revere should have no problem manning center field, but Bowden is concerned about Delmon Young in right and the group of players vying for the job in left. A last minute deal for Alfonso Soriano is still possible in his eyes but the veteran’s below-average defense won’t solve their issues.

HA! “below-average defense” HA! I guess Soriano’s “stellar” defense last year of him “hustling” to balls within EASY reach didn’t fool reporter Zach Links, he must be an intelligent and OBSERVANT fan of the game….

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