PEORIA, Ariz. -- Days like this will go a long way toward justifying the Cubs' $184 million offseason investment in Jason Heyward. The right fielder's bat came to life Tuesday with two doubles and three RBIs in an 11-1 victory over the Padres at Peoria Sports Complex.Chicago roughed up Padres
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Days like this will go a long way toward justifying the Cubs' $184 million offseason investment in Jason Heyward. The right fielder's bat came to life Tuesday with two doubles and three RBIs in an 11-1 victory over the Padres at Peoria Sports Complex.
Chicago roughed up Padres Opening Day starter Tyson Ross for five runs in the first inning, including a hustle double by Heyward that led to Dexter Fowler scoring the first run of the game on a throwing error. Heyward would add a rocket into the right-field corner in the third with the bases loaded -- giving him as many hits on the day as he had amassed in his first seven Cactus League games.
Heyward, Jeimer Candelario and Tim Federowicz all doubled off Ross, who exited after just a third of an inning. Ross surrendered four hits in total, but his three walks were a bit more troubling. Among qualified starting pitchers last season, Ross walked 10.2 percent of the hitters he faced, the second-highest rate in the Majors.
"Quite frankly, I let the guys down," Ross said. "It doesn't matter if it's spring, if it's a pickup game in the backyard of Wiffle ball -- five runs in one-third of an inning is never good. Luckily, there's a lot I can learn."
As for limiting free passes in the future, Ross offered some pretty irrefutable wisdom, saying wryly, "I've got to throw three strikes before I throw four balls."
Cubs starting pitcher Clayton Richard fared much better. He ran into trouble in the first inning, allowing two walks and a Derek Norris single. But the lefty picked off Norris with a deceptive move to first and eventually escaped the jam, before tossing a 1-2-3 second inning. Ryan Williams followed Richard with three scoreless frames.
In the eighth, Kristopher Negron and John Andreoli hit back-to-back home runs for the Cubs -- the latter of which was an inside-the-park job. Andreoli's deep fly ball hit the top of the wall, just over the outstretched glove of right fielder Jabari Blash. The ball caromed back toward the infield, and Blash simply couldn't recover in time.
Up next for Cubs:John Lackey will make his second spring start on Wednesday when the Cubs travel to Surprise to face the Royals. In his previous outing against the Reds, the right-hander scattered five hits over three innings and walked one while striking out four. The game will be available live on MLB.TV and via an exclusive free audio webcast on Cubs.com, starting at 3:05 p.m. CT.
Padres up next: San Diego has an off-day on Wednesday, but James Shields, Robbie Erlin and Luis Perdomo will pitch in a Minor League game. The Friars return to Cactus League action on Thursday night against the Giants. Andrew Cashner will start the 7:10 p.m. PT contest, which will be available live on MLB.TV. Cashner, who has touched 96 mph with his fastball already this spring, has looked sharp over five scoreless innings, recording six strikeouts while allowing only three hits.
AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.