Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Jackson hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning and a bases loaded RBI single for a 6-5 Chicago Cubs’ victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday afternoon in split squad action in Surprise, Arizona.
Opening Day starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija took the mound for the Cubs against the Royals. Jarrod Dyson hit a solo home run and Johnny Giavotella hit a two-run shot to end Samardzija’s outing. Samardzija gave up four runs off seven hits through three and two-third innings.
Left-hander Hunter Cervenka closed the fourth and was replaced by Pedro Strop. The potential closer Strop, Chang-Yong Lim, and Wesley Wright held the Royals to only one hit until Brian Fletcher hit a homer off Cubs’ pitcher Marcos Mateo in the eighth for a 5-0 Royals lead.
Left fielder Jackson hit a three-run homer in the eighth, his first of the Spring, to cut the deficit to 5-3.
Shortstop Marcos Hernandez knocked in a run then Jackson gave the Cubs the lead for good with a bases-loaded RBI single on a sharp ground ball to center field to drive in Hernandez and Wes Darvill.
Mateo earned the win and Royals’ Tim Collins received the loss. Right-hander Jeffery Lorick earned the save after he gave up two hits and struck out one.