Chicago Cubs

Cubs Spring Training Report: Hamels Shines in Cactus League Debut

Hamels pitched two scoreless innings, and Willson Contreras blasted his second home run of the spring

Willson Contreras blasted his second home run of the spring and David Bote scored a pair of runs in his return to the lineup as the Chicago Cubs beat the Texas Rangers 9-5 in spring training action Tuesday.

Cristhian Adames went 2-for-2 and scored a pair of runs out of the clean-up spot, and Mark Zagunis blasted a home run and drove in three RBI as the Cubs ran their spring training record to 4-2 on the year.

Starting pitcher Cole Hamels made his spring debut for the Cubs, pitching two scoreless innings and giving up two hits for Chicago. Alec Mills gave up an earned run for Chicago, and Dillon Maples pitched a scoreless sixth inning, striking out a pair of batters.

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The Cubs got off to a rollicking start in the first inning as they put four runs on the board. Adames and Zagunis picked up back-to-back RBI singles to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead, and Phillip Evans doubled home a pair of runs to make it a 4-0 game.

Contreras blasted a home run in the second inning, scoring Bote, and Zagunis followed that up with a two-run home run of his own in the fifth to make it 8-1. The Rangers did make it interesting late, with matt Davidson homering to center field to make it 9-5 in the ninth, but the Cubs slammed the door and secured the victory.

The Cubs will next be in action on Thursday as they welcome the Oakland A’s to Sloan Park. Kyle Hendricks will be on the hill for Chicago.

News and Notes:

-Cole Hamels said that he plans to pitch beyond 2019, and he also said that he hopes he can pitch against the Rangers in the season opening series in Arlington later this spring.

“It would be the first time I’ve ever pitched against a team I played for,” he said. “I haven’t had the opportunity to pitch against the Phillies. So it’s going to be a game, but it will be really fun and it’s a tremendous place to play.”

-Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, who was a late scratch from Tuesday’s lineup due to a personal issue, and manager Joe Maddon said that it’s unclear when he will get back into the lineup.

Heyward did practice with the team in Mesa on Wednesday, according to reporters.

-In an earnings call with investors, Sinclair Media President Chris Ripley said that he expects the Cubs’ new “Marquee” network to generate up to $50 million for the company, according to the Chicago Tribune

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