Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester looks at the ball during the second inning of a spring training baseball exhibition game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Mesa, Ariz., Wednesday, March 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson
March 11, 2015

MESA, Ariz. (AP) Zack Greinke gave up two runs in his spring debut for the Dodgers, being outpitched by Jon Lester in Los Angeles' 4-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

Greinke had been given a lubricating injection in his right elbow on Feb. 18. He allowed two hits and two walks in two innings.

''My stuff was just a little off - OK for the first start,'' Greinke said. ''I missed a lot by just an inch or so off the plate.''

But he said his elbow feels fine and should be ready for his next start in five days.

Lester pitched three-hit ball for three shutout innings. He struck out two in the Cubs first win of the spring.

''Strike one is easier said than done,'' Lester said. ''It's something I've battled with a long time. It's something I always try to hammer home to myself.

''Strike one changes the whole dynamic of the game, not just that one hitter,'' he said

Mike Baxter singled home two runs off Greinke in the second. The Cubs added a run in the third on a sacrifice fly by Chris Coghlan.

Justin Turner had a two-run double for the Dodgers.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cubs: Reliever Tsuyoshi Wada, who has battled through a couple of minor leg issues and has thrown just one inning, appears to be OK and ready to pitch, manager Joe Maddon said.

Dodgers: Yasiel Puig is fine after crashing into the padded right-center field wall while making a spectacular catch, manager Don Mattingly said.

A NEW CUBS' WAY?

The Cubs entered Wednesday's game 0-6-1. What has irked Maddon more than the record is the way they are playing, making all sorts of mistakes, including mental errors. In Tuesday's 10-6 loss at Cleveland, they committed four errors and let a harmless fly ball drop in. So Maddon made a plea for fundamentals on Wednesday morning. He had his outfielders work on relay throws, a drill that went so flawlessly that Maddon said he lost a $200 wager on it.

But after a week of Cactus League games, Maddon's impression is that, ''We're not good at the fundamentals in the game. Too many mental mistakes. Physical mistakes are fine. Mental mistakes will kill you. Physical mistakes are part of this game. Mental mistakes have no part of this game.

''For me to change the culture here, they have to understand when you show up at the ballpark every day, it's not about survival, it's about winning,'' he said.

TURNER'S RISE

Turner went 2 for 4, prompting praise from Mattingly. Everything is on the nose,''

Mattingly said. ''You can't really be swinging the bat better than he's swinging it right now.''

Turner hit .340 as a utility player in 108 games, with a .404 on-base percentage. ''He didn't go to sleep this winter, either,'' Mattingly said. ''He was one of our hardest workers in the winter.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: Hyun-Jin Ryu will start at San Diego on Thursday at Peoria.

Cubs: Jason Hammel is set to start against the Los Angeles Angels in Tempe. The Cubs-Angels game will be one of five in which actor Will Ferrell will be playing Thursday. Ferrell will play every position on the field for 10 teams as part of an HBO special dedicated to fighting cancer.

''It will probably take him a couple of months to recover from that one,'' Lester said. ''It's for a good cause. So it should be cool to see.''

You May Like