The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

March 26, 2014

Cashner sharp in last tuneup

PEORIA, Ariz. — Andrew Cashner allowed one unearned run in three innings for San Diego in his final start before opening night as the Padres and a Chicago Cubs split squad played to a 5-5 tie Tuesday night in exhibition baseball.

The Cubs tied it when Clint Moore dropped a popup with two outs in the top of the ninth, scoring two runs.

The game was stopped after nine innings, leaving San Diego with six ties this spring.

Cashner allowed two hits and struck out one in his 44-pitch tuneup. The right-hander issued no walks, allowing only one in 15 2/3 innings while posting a 2.30 spring ERA.

Cashner, who has been working his sinker this spring, called it “huge” to get seven groundouts and just one flyout.

“I went sinker-heavy this spring more than I have in the past,” he said. “I think I’m still learning that pitch and getting better at that pitch.”

Cory Spangenberg’s error led to Ryan Kalish’s RBI single in the third off Cashner, who starts Sunday against the Dodgers.

Xavier Nady singled and had an RBI double off Cubs prospect C.J. Edwards, who couldn’t get out of the third in his Cactus League debut. The 22-year-old gave up three runs, four hits and three walks, getting eight outs.

Edwards, acquired from Texas in the Matt Garza trade last year, had a 1.86 ERA and 155 strikeouts in 116 innings in Class A in 2013.

Known as the “String Bean Slinger,” the 6-foot-2, 165-pound Edwards said he “can’t even explain the nerves” as he played in front of several Cubs executives

Edwards threw 49 pitches, 26 for strikes, and struck out one. He is expected to start the season at Double-A.

It was a night for highly-touted Cubs youngsters, with Edwards, shortstop Javier Baez and third baseman Kris Bryant all starting.

The 21-year-old Baez, who will start the season at Triple-A, ranged far to his right to stab a grounder and made a strong throw while falling away to start a double play in the first. He went 1-for-5.

The 22-year-old Bryant, the No. 2 overall pick in 2013 who hit an NCAA-best 31 homers last year, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

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