Spring Journal: Cubs fall short, lose to Angels

Carlos Zambrano's spring scoreless streak came to an end Friday at HoHoKam Park in a 6-4 Cubs loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Zambrano, 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings this spring, allowed an RBI bloop single to Garrett Anderson that gave the Angels a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Zambrano eventually settled down and even helped his cause with the bat, hitting a solo home run to right off Angels starter Kelvim Escobar in the third to tie the score.

An inning later, the Cubs rallied with two outs as Jeromy Burnitz doubled over Steve Finley's head in center, and Derrek Lee followed with a two-run home run, his second of the spring, to make it 3-1.

Zambrano continued pitching well until the sixth when Finley and third baseman Robb Quinlan reached base to open the inning. (Finley reached on an infield single to short and Quinlan lined a single to center.) With Zambrano out, Orlando Cabrera hit a two-run double off Sergio Mitre to tie the game before Darin Erstad's two-run home run put the Angels ahead for good at 5-3.

The Angels tacked on a run in the ninth off Chad Fox for insurance, courtesy of an RBI single by Chris Prieto. The Cubs then rallied a half inning later but fell short when Jason Dubois struck out with the tying run at first. Henry Blanco's RBI single to center scored Angel Echevarria for the Cubs' final tally.

The Cubs fell to 12-12 on the spring. Mitre (1-2) suffered the loss with Escobar (1-1) getting the win. Escobar retired the first eight hitters he saw before allowing the home run to Zambrano. He went six innings and allowed three runs on five hits. Zambrano went five innings, allowing three runs on nine hits.

Next up for the Cubs are the Colorado Rockies Saturday at 2:05 CST in Tuscon, Ariz. Greg Maddux is scheduled to make the start against Shawn Chacon.

Nomar Garciaparra struck out for only the third time this spring. Garciaparra finished 1-for-3 and is now hitting .488 in Cactus League play. He entered the day batting over .500. Left-hander Mike Remlinger tossed one inning of relief to extend his scoreless streak to eight innings this spring. Right-hander Jon Leicester also tossed an inning. Leicester's ERA this spring is 2.45 in 11 innings.

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