Jackson helps Cubs blank Royals 7-0
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Edwin Jackson arrived at the ballpark in time for a solid spring start with the Chicago Cubs.
Jackson allowed one hit in 4 2-3 innings, and the Cubs hit three homers in a 7-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
Jackson struck out three and walked one. He was hit hard in his previous outing after he had trouble finding Oakland’s spring ballpark.
Jackson is competing for the last spot in the Cubs’ rotation after going 6-15 with a 6.33 ERA last season.
“It’s not going to be judged off one start,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s something I don’t worry about. Like I’ve been saying from the beginning, just go out and be myself and at the end of the day, whatever is going to happen is going to happen. No need to worry about it, just go out pitch your game and let the pieces fall into place.”
Miguel Montero, Matt Szczur and Junior Lake homered for Chicago, and Tommy La Stella went 3 for 3 and scored a run.
Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez struck out eight in five-plus innings. He was charged with two runs and six hits.
“I think this is the best one of all of whole spring training,” Volquez said.
Montero went deep in the first. Lake connected in the eighth against Wade Davis, who did not surrender a home run in 72 innings last season. Szczur hit his fourth spring homer in Chicago’s four-run ninth off Royals closer Greg Holland.
BRYANT PLAYS LEFT
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, one of the top prospects in the majors, made his second spring training start in left field. The team wants its young players to be able to play more than one position.
“You never know the need will arise,” manager Joe Maddon said. “All of a sudden, you could have a need here, and he hasn’t played there.”
Bryant went 0 for 3 at the plate, striking out twice. His spring batting average dropped to .425.
Cubs: Jackson entered with a 7.59 ERA in 10 2-3 spring innings.
“Just a better job of making adjustments,” Jackson said. “Miggy (Montero) did a great job of controlling the game behind the plate, mixing up pitches. We also had some great defensive plays. It was a little bit of everything working in my favor today.”
Royals: Volquez said he is close to being where he wants to be to start the season.
“I don’t want to say 100 percent,” Volquez said. “I’m think I’m probably 90 percent.”
OUT AT HOME
Cubs second baseman Javier Baez threw out Jarrod Dyson and Alex Gordon at the plate in the third inning. Gordon tried to score from first on Kendrys Morales’ double.
Cubs: OF Chris Denorfia has not played since March 17 because of a hamstring injury.
Royals: RF Alex Rios returned to the lineup after missing three games with a right thumb issue.
BAD OVERALL DAY
The Royals managed just three hits, and key relievers Davis and Holland allowed a total of five runs and six hits in a combined 1 2-3 innings.
“My fantasy NACAR team did as bad as we did today,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “It was a bad day all the way around. My A driver is Jimmy Johnson, who normally runs good at Martinsville, but he finished 35th today.”
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks starts Monday against the Giants.
Royals: LHP Jason Vargas starts Monday against Texas.