Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Edwin Jackson (2-3, 4.00) allowed only one base runner while striking out two over four innings as the Chicago Cubs (13-18) defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks (12-11) 3-1 in an exhibition game at Chase Field.
Jackson changed speeds effectively while using his slider to stay ahead of hitters all night as he prepares for what he hopes will be a bounceback season. The Cubs gave Jackson some early support as Anthony Rizzo drove in a run in the first on an RBI groundout. Chicago hopes to improve with runners in scoring position and less than two out as they were among the league’s worst last season.
Ryan Sweeney added another run in the fourth dropping a soft line drive in front of Diamondbacks left fielder Mark Trumbo. Trumbo slightly misplayed the ball, which is somewhat expected as he becomes acclimated to playing the outfield more regularly after primarily playing first base and designated hitter with the Angels last season.
In the bottom of the fourth, Nate Schierholtz made a nice diving grab on a soft liner off the bat of Gerardo Parra. He then knocked in the Cubs final tally of the game with an RBI single to center to bring home Rizzo. Trevor Cahill (1-2, 6.95) took the loss for Arizona, allowing three runs on eight hits, while striking out five and walking three in his six innings of work.
Arizona got on the board in the eighth on a Evan Marzilli RBI double, scoring Cliff Pennington. The Diamondbacks would load the bases with back-to-back walks before Cubs reliever Armando Rivera got Tuffy Gosewisch swinging to end the threat.
New Cubs closer Jose Veras got a chance to do what the club brought him to Chicago to do, as he closed out the game for his first save of the spring.
Tomorrow’s game will be another exhibition matchup at Chase field as the Cubs and Diamonbacks battle again at 4:10 ET.