03/03/11 7:46 PM EST
Big Z fights fatigue for three shutout innings
Cubs enjoy four-run fourth before bullpen surrenders lead
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Carlos Zambrano, who will be the Cubs' No. 2 starter, gave up two hits, both singles, and walked two over three scoreless innings in his second Cactus League start. The right-hander said his arm was a little fatigued.
"I wasn't feeling that good today," Zambrano said. "My arm was tired. Getting in shape -- it happens. It's Spring Training. I was pitching with three days' rest. It's not that I wasn't feeling good, but I was kind of fatigued."
Zambrano wasn't concerned and said he often goes through this in spring.
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"I was able to get out of situations -- ground ball, double play -- and a little scary moment with [Josh] Hamilton, but this is Spring Training and time to build my arm and get ready for the season," Zambrano said.
The Hamilton moment came in the third, when the Rangers outfielder flew out to the warning track in right to end the inning and strand two runners.
Blake DeWitt doubled to lead off for the Cubs, moved up on a wild pitch by Rangers starter Derek Holland and scored two outs later on Ramirez's single. That was the only run off Holland, who gave up three hits over two innings, striking out two.
Moreland singled to lead off the Rangers' fourth off Braden Looper, reached third on Doug Deeds' single and scored on Matt Treanor's sacrifice fly to tie the game. A 12-year veteran, Looper is trying to make a comeback after missing all of last season. He last pitched in October 2009 for the Brewers.
The Cubs sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth. With the bases loaded and one out against Tanner Scheppers, Augie Ojeda smacked a two-run double down the right-field line. Looper added a sacrifice fly, and DeWitt hit an RBI single to go ahead, 5-1.
After Scheppers exited, having allowed four runs on five hits and walking two over two-thirds of an inning, he complained of tightness in his lower back. The Rangers will re-evaluate him on Friday.
There were no skirmishes in the Cubs' dugout one day after Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Silva had a minor altercation at Maryvale. However, the fire alarm did go off in the Cubs' clubhouse prior to the game. It was a false alarm.
The Rangers tied the game with a four-run sixth, which included a three-run homer by Moreland off Rafael Dolis.
First baseman Scott Moore was charged with an error in the sixth, the 15th by the Cubs this spring. Cubs manager Mike Quade held a team meeting prior to the game to address the defensive lapses.
"I was trying to think if I ever felt better about a tough 8-7 loss, outside of playoffs or serious Major League action when you're battling for a playoff spot," Quade said. "Fifteen runs, 25 hits, three hours and change, and we make one mistake, mental and physical. If we do that we'll be just fine. The kids battled like crazy."
Cubs Up Next: Matt Garza will make his first Cactus League start for the Cubs on Friday, when they travel to Surprise, Ariz., to face the Royals. This will be the right-hander's second appearance this spring -- he followed Zambrano on Sunday and went two innings. Tyler Colvin also is scheduled to make his first start at first base. The Cubs want to see if Colvin can back up Carlos Pena at first. Highly touted prospect Brett Jackson will start in center field.
Rangers Up Next: Opening Day starter C.J. Wilson makes his second start of the spring against the Athletics at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Friday. David Bush is also scheduled to pitch. The Rangers will be facing two old teammates for this game as right-hander Brandon McCarthy and Willie Eyre are scheduled to pitch. McCarthy was with the Rangers organization for the past four years, but a series of injuries ruined the club's high hopes for him. Eyre was a reliever for the Rangers who had his career derailed by Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.