Valbuena homers, Cubs beat Angels 11-2
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Jerome Williams knows his place on the Los Angeles Angels' pitching staff. His job is to be ready for any role necessary.
Making his first spring training start since 2007, Williams allowed a home run to Luis Valbuena but little else Saturday as an Angels split squad was beaten 11-2 by the Chicago Cubs.
"I got the first homer out of the way," Williams said. "It was a curve. (Valbuena) had to go down to get it and he did."
Williams is familiar with his status, somewhere in between that of a reliever and a starter. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said both Williams and right-hander Garrett Richards, among others in the same situation, would be stretched out as starters this spring.
"Every year I'm going to have to fight for a roster spot," Williams said. "The number one key is to help the team in any way possible."
Williams yielded one run and two hits over two innings, with a walk and a strikeout. Cubs starter Travis Wood also went two innings, giving up two runs and one hit.
One of several pitchers competing for a spot at the back end of Chicago's rotation, Wood allowed a leadoff walk to Peter Bourjos in the first. Bourjos came around to score on Erick Aybar's triple.
"I hate leadoff walks," said Wood, who was 6-13 with a 4.27 ERA in 26 starts for the Cubs last season. "It's nice to get that first one out of the way. ... Everybody's competing for the same spot. It's going to be fun throughout the rest of camp."
Brett Jackson tripled twice for the Cubs, and Valbuena got off to a great start in his bid to win more playing time.
Valbuena, one of three players in the running for the team's starting third base position, homered to the opposite field off Williams in the second inning. Valbuena also went deep in an intrasquad game Friday.
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