Hammel throws 4 scoreless innings, Cubs top Royals
MESA, Ariz. (AP) Jason Hammel threw four scoreless innings and Anthony Rizzo reached base three times on Tuesday as the Chicago Cubs beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3.
Hammel came in with a 10.80 ERA in his previous two outings over five innings, but had good downward action and fastball command against the Royals.
The right-hander allowed two hits and struck out three in his longest outing of the spring after he allowed nine hits and walked three in his previous two appearances.
''It's spring training coming together,'' Hammel said. ''As long as you don't get frustrated and beat yourself up the first couple weeks of spring and expect results because you are still somewhat getting into shape, you'll be OK. Things felt like it clicked today.''
Royals starter Danny Duffy was nearly as good, other than a tough third inning in which he hit a batter and walked two, including Starlin Castro to force in the first run of the game.
''I was pretty happy with everything,'' he said. ''There are things you have to get ready for in the season. It might be a pitch to certain kind of hitter or whatever it maybe. I'm trying to control the front and back of the plate this year.''
Rizzo was hit by a pitch and singled twice, including a RBI shot to right-center off Royals reliever Wade Davis in the fifth.
Lorenzo Cain two doubles, including one that drove in a run in the sixth, and Omar Infante had two singles in three at-bats for the Royals, while Lane Adams came off the bench to hit his first home run of the spring.
''Cain is really swinging the bat well,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''He's on everything right now.''
Royals: Duffy created a jam in the third inning with wildness after getting two quick outs. He walked Dexter Fowler, gave up a single to Chris Denorfia, hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch to load the bases and forced in a run when he walked Castro.
''He did a great job of limiting the damage after the bases loaded giving up one,'' Yost said.
Cubs: Hammel gave up one hit in each of the first two innings, but followed it up by facing the minimum in the third and fourth.
Royals: Infante was the designated hitter again. He has yet to play in the field during the Cactus League because of a sore right elbow.
''He's extending it and he's progressing,'' said Ned Yost, who hopes Infante plays at least 10 games in the field. ''We'll just have to keep checking on how he's doing and when he'll be ready.''
Cubs: Third base prospect Kris Bryant tested his right shoulder - throwing from 90 feet - and came through feeling good.
''It definitely felt better than the last couple of days,'' he said. ''I'll be out there pretty soon. We've made some really good progress with it. It's a normal thing. If this was the season I'd definitely be playing through it.''
GETTING BACK INTO IT
Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, who had right wrist surgery in the offseason, played in minor intrasquad game and went 3 for 6 with a double and home run.
''That's great news,'' Yost said.
IN SEARCH OF AN ORDER
Maddon said he will settle on a regular-season lineup close to the final 10 games, but Tuesday's order against the Royals had a regular-season look to it with no one with a number in the 60s or higher.
He said one position he is really interested in settling is the No. 2 spot in the lineup.
''The two hole is like a mystery,'' he said. ''At the end of the day, it's about feeding the RBI guys, who has the knack to drive in points,'' Maddon said. ''You would think on the surface guys like (Anthony) Rizzo, (Jorge) Soler and (Kris) Bryant would be classical RBI guys.''
Cubs: Travel to Camelback Ranch as right-hander Jake Arrieta makes his third start of the spring against Brandon McCarthy and the Dodgers.
Royals: face Milwaukee at Surprise.