Monday, March 12, 2007

Zambrano triples, falls, then fans five in Cubs win

The Cubs kept rolling today, improving their Cactus League record to 7-5, despite losing the first three decisions of the exhibition season.

Carlos Zambrano was the starting pitcher of the game, but was able to bat before pitching thanks to a six-run first inning by the Cubs. With a runner on second and two outs, Zambrano lined an 0-2 pitch off of the right field wall and fell en route to third base. While it provided a scare for many of the Cubs, Zambrano showed he was just fine, throwing four innings and allowing just two runs on three hits, while fanning five. Most important of all, Zambrano didn't walk a single batter, showing possible signs of improving from his league-high 115 walks allowed last year.

The battle for left field also got a bit interesting as Cliff Floyd made his debut with the Cubs. Floyd, who was sidelined due to a foot surgery he underwent in the winter, knocked in two runs in his first at-bat. Murton, the other candidate for left field, did not play today. He has a .304 average (7-23) and has hit 2 homeruns this spring.

Also on the mound today for the Cubs, were Samardzija, who tossed two scoreless frames and Ohman and Pignatiello, who each contributed one scoreless inning.

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