Samardzija hits 2nd HR, pitches Cubs over Mariners
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Jeff Samardzija made a few mistakes with his pitches Thursday night against Seattle. He also made Mariners pitchers pay for a couple of their misguided offerings.
The Cubs' starter was allowed to bat in an American League park when Chicago chose not to employ a designated hitter, and he delivered a solo home run and RBI single in a 7-4 win.
Set to start on opening day, Samardzija gave up four runs and nine hits in six innings. He struck out seven.
"I threw a couple of pitches up in the zone that they took advantage of," Samardzija said. "Overall, we're right there, so it's good."
Samardzija has hit two homers this spring.
"If you can save yourself a loss or tie the ballgame up, that's huge. That speaks volumes down the road," he said. "And at the end of the year, you look back on it, it might save you a couple of games here and there."
Alfonso Soriano and Brad Nelson also homered for the split-squad Cubs and David DeJesus had two hits and drove in a run. Nelson's two-run shot in the eighth off Erasmo Ramirez gave the Cubs the lead for good.
Cubs closer Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless eighth inning, followed by a scoreless yet somewhat shaky ninth from reliever Kyuji Fujikawa.
The Mariners might have seen what they wanted from starting pitcher Jon Garland and outfielder Jason Bay, two players competing for major league roster spots.
Garland allowed two runs and five hits in six innings and should hear from the coaching staff by Friday whether he has earned a spot in the starting rotation.
Garland's case might also have been aided by the performance of Ramirez, a starter candidate who was tagged for four runs on six hits in two innings.
"It's really nothing that we haven't seen. It's a veteran guy that works to keep the ball down, uses all of his pitches," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
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