GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run homer and made a diving catch for the Chicago Cubs in their 9-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.
Schierholtz's drive off Alfredo Simon followed a walk to Donnie Murphy in the first inning. Schierholtz also singled and scored in the third. Ryan Kalish singled and scored twice for the Cubs.
Simon had not allowed a hit this spring until Schierholtz launched a shot to right.
"Simon was off the top of the ball," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "The movement was side to side. That's a more difficult adjustment to make."
Billy Hamilton walked leading off the game against Jason Hammel, who was making his first Cactus League start for the Cubs. The speedster stole second and third to give him six steals this spring.
Joey Votto doubled twice and walked in three trips for the Reds.
Schierholtz turned in a diving grab in right field to rob Kristopher Negron of a hit.
"We had a couple balls hit right on the screws, but fundamentally there are things that don't show up in the boxscore," Price said. "We have to throw strikes and hit the cutoff man. This wasn't a good game. There weren't a lot of redeeming pieces to it."
Cubs: Hammel was signed as a free agent on Feb. 13, the day before spring training opened. He appeared in a "B'' game against the Giants on Monday.
He pitched three scoreless innings Saturday, allowing a double to Votto and a single to Skip Schumaker. The right-hander walked three in the first inning but pitched out of the jam.
"I was battling butterflies a little bit," Hammel said. "This was my first time in front of a crowd with a new team. I got through it. I am learning a new team and a new division. These guys (the Reds) are very patient. I threw some close swing-at-able pitches."
Reds: Simon made his third start of the spring. He had not allowed a hit in five innings before Schierholtz homered in the first. The Reds are grooming Simon to be a starter if Mat Latos is not ready to start the season. Strictly a reliever in his two seasons with Cincinnati, Simon is the first Reds' pitcher to throw four innings this spring. He allowed five earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out one.
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