Arizona at Chicago

W: W. Harris (1-0) L: W. Wright (0-1) S: J. Barrett (1)
HR: ARI - E. Chavez (1)   CHC - None

Cubs lose to Diamondbacks in opener of new park


MESA, Ariz. (AP) Jeff Samardzija pitched two shutout innings before an overflow crowd in the Chicago Cubs' opener at their new stadium, a 5-2 loss to an Arizona Diamondbacks split-squad on Thursday.

The crowd of 14,486 at the new stadium at Riverview Park set a Cactus League record.

Samardzija, the Cubs' No. 1 starter last season, allowed a walk and a single to start the game, but then got Paul Goldschmidt to fly out. He then struck out Aaron Hill and Eric Chavez to end the first inning.

The right-hander said the Diamondbacks ''really make your work. ... They don't get themselves out. They have an excellent lineup. It was good to open up with them.

''To work out of that first-inning jam and get a double-play was just about everything I wanted to do,'' he added.

Samardzija allowed a single to Miguel Montero in the second inning.

Martin Prado had two singles and a run-scoring double off Cubs left-hander Wesley Wright in the fifth for Arizona. Eric Chavez followed Prado's double with a two-run homer.

''He's capable of winning the batting title,'' Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said of Prado. ''He really is.''

Cubs reliever Jose Veras gave up two runs in the sixth.


The Cubs' opened their new stadium in grand fashion. A sellout, the game drew a Cactus League record of 14,486, including thousands either standing or lounging in the lawn beyond the outfield fence. The pregame celebration included fireworks and remarks by Mesa Mayor Scott Smith.

''It was exciting'' Samardzija said. ''I think this was the first time the Cubbies had fireworks, ever.''

Diamondbacks pitcher Bronson Arroyo said: ''It's always nice to pitch before a big crowd. I've been out in Goodyear (for Cincinnati) ... not a whole lot of crowds out there.

Cubs Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins led the crowd in singing, ''Take Me Out to the Ball Game'' in the seventh inning.

The previous spring attendance record in Arizona was March 23, 2013, when 13,721 watched the Chicago White Sox face the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch.


Diamondbacks: Arroyo, a recent acquisition by Arizona, allowed two runs in three innings in his spring debut.

''I felt pretty average, not horrible but not great,'' said Arroyo, who indicated the main benefit was that he and Montero, the catcher, were able to start to get to know each other.

''A good outing for him,'' Gibson said.

But Arroyo indicated he's a few days behind other pitchers, and he's unsure whether he'll be ready for the diamondbacks' first games, March 22-23, in Australia.


New Cubs manager Rick Renteria acknowledges that ''all eyes'' this spring will be on infielder Starlin Castro, the young star coming back from a subpar season.

''I hope to see a young man who is trying to put himself back on the level ... of a few years ago, That kid is still in there,'' Renteria said. ''I just hope he comes out and starts to enjoy himself a little more again, play the game the way he's capable of by maybe releasing some of the anxieties he may have had.''

Castro went 2 for 2 with a double and an RBI on Thursday.


Diamondbacks outfielder Cody Ross is making great progress from an ''extreme injury'' to his hip late last season, Gibson said. Could he be ready for the opening games in Australia? ''Possible, but that's probably a rush.''

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Players of the Game

M. Prado
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

S. Castro
AB 2
R 0
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

June 23, 2017
MLB Thursday winners and losers (0:57)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Gerardo Parra , CF1100100.333.667.667
Martin Prado , 3B4131013.714.7141.000
Paul Goldschmidt , 1B4012014.143.143.143
Aaron Hill , 2B3000125.333.429.333
Eric Chavez , 3B3112023.333.3331.000
a-Rudy Flores , PH-DH2000001.000.000.000
Mark Trumbo , LF3010000.250.400.250
Miguel Montero , C2010002.250.250.250
A.J. Pollock , CF2110101.400.500.800
Didi Gregorius , SS4010015.333.333.500
Bobby Wilson , C1100100.000.500.000
Evan Marzilli , CF1000000.000.000.000
Brandon Drury , 3B1000010.000.000.000
Nick Evans , 1B1000011.000.000.000
Nick Ahmed , SS1000011.000.000.000
Justin Greene , LF1000000.000.000.000
Breland Almadova , RF10100001.0001.0001.000
a-Lined out for E Chavez in the 7th.
2B - M Prado (2); D Gregorius (1)
HR - E Chavez (1)
RBI - M Prado (2); P Goldschmidt 2 (2); E Chavez 2 (2)
CS - B Almadova (1)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Bronson Arroyo 3.03211103.00
Will Harris (W,1-0) 1.00001100.00
Joe Paterson 1.00000000.00
Adam Russell 1.01000000.00
Matt Stites 1.00001100.00
David Hernandez 1.00000000.00
Jake Barrett (S,1) 1.01000200.00
Chicago Cubs
Emilio Bonifacio , SS2110000.500.5001.000
Luis Valbuena , 3B2101010.000.000.000
Starlin Castro , SS20210001.0001.0001.000
Anthony Rizzo , 1B2000002.000.000.000
Junior Lake , LF2000000.000.000.000
Welington Castillo , C1000100.000.500.000
Justin Ruggiano , LF1000101.000.500.000
Mike Olt , 1B2000012.000.000.000
a-Aaron Cunningham , PH-DH1000001.000.000.000
Darnell McDonald , LF2000000.000.000.000
Logan Watkins , 2B2000000.000.000.000
Christian Villanueva , 3B2000000.000.000.000
Jeudy Valdez , SS2010000.500.500.500
Ryan Roberts , 1B2010000.500.5001.000
Matt Szczur , CF2000011.000.000.000
Eli Whiteside , C0000100.0001.000.000
Ryan Kalish , LF2000002.000.000.000
Casper Wells , RF1000011.000.000.000
Luis Flores , C1000011.000.000.000
a-Grounded out for M Olt in the 7th.
2B - S Castro (1); R Roberts (1)
3B - E Bonifacio (1)
RBI - L Valbuena (1); S Castro (1)
CS - J Valdez (1)
Chicago Cubs
Jeff Samardzija 2.02001200.00
Justin Grimm 1.01000100.00
Pedro Strop 1.01002100.00
Wesley Wright (L,0-1) 1.023302127.00
Jose Veras 1.022211018.00
Blake Parker 1.00000000.00
Hector Rondon 1.01000300.00
Alberto Cabrera 1.01000000.00