Dennis Wierzbicki / USA Today Sports

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Cubs lost a pair of games and Jon Lester was named opening day starter

Cubs fall to Reds and D-Backs

Chicago dropped to 2-4-2 with a pair of losses on Thursday, falling 6-2 to the Reds and then losing 3-1 to Arizona.

Against the Reds, the Cubs top two prospects put the Cubs on the board in the seventh after RF Mark Zagunis (1-for-2) and C Willson Contreras (1-2) led off the frames with singles. 2B David Bote (0-1) walked to load the bases and LF Eloy Jimenez  (0-2) followed with a RBI sacrifice fly. DH Ian Happ (1-3) then followed with a RBI single.

Rob Zastryzny made his second start of the spring and went 2.2 frames, getting charged with two runs in the third. Zastryzny fanned two and surrendered two hits. Miguel Mejia gave up a two-out, two run single in the third and then recorded the final out. RH Pierce Johnson allowed a run on a hit in his third relief appearance of the spring. Jose Rosario made his second appearance and yielded an unearned run in the  sixth. RH Felix Pena gave up two runs on four hits in the eighth and RH James Pugliese came in and recorded the final out.

The Diamondbacks scored all their runs in the second inning on a three-run homer and held the North Siders to just three hits. RF Matt Szczur tripled and scored in the fifth on a RBI single from Munenori Kawasaki for the Cubs only run. Jake Buchanan took the loss, allowing the homer in his second inning of work. Daniel Corcino (1 IP), David Rollins (2 IP), Jhondaniel Medina (2 IP), and Zac Rosscup (1 IP) blanked the D-Backs over the final six frames.

Cubs are back to work on Friday as they host the Reds with LH Mike Montgomery on the mound. RH Kyle Hendricks takes the bump for the first time since Game 7 on Saturday at Sloan Park against the Dodgers.

Lester to start opener

Cubs manager Joe Maddon announced on Thursday that left-hander Jon Lester gets the opening day starting assignment in St. Louis on April 2. Jake Arrieta will pitch game two of the series. 

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