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Garza happy to leave Arizona after Cubs' loss

Garza happy to leave Arizona after Cubs' loss

Garza happy to leave Arizona after Cubs' loss
MESA, Ariz. -- Xavier Nady belted a grand slam, David Winfree added a three-run homer and a solo shot, and Kelly Johnson hit a three-run blast to power the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 15-8 victory Tuesday over Matt Garza and the Cubs in front of 11,309 at HoHoKam Park.

Nady's homer, Winfree's solo shot and Johnson's blast all came in the fourth off lefty Scott Maine. The Cubs had taken a 5-4 lead in the third, but the D-backs loaded the bases in the fourth on a double by Johnson and two walks against Garza, who started the game. Nady greeted Maine with his his second spring homer, a grand slam, to take an 8-5 lead.

One out later, Winfree hit his second spring home run -- and second of the game. He also connected in the third.

After his blast in the fourth, Cody Ransom reached on a throwing error by third baseman Aramis Ramirez, and one out later A.J. Pollock singled to set up Johnson's homer, his second hit of the inning.

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Garza, who will start the Cubs' third game of the regular season Sunday against the Pirates, gave up seven runs on 11 hits and walked two over three-plus innings while striking out seven. He finished his first spring in Arizona with the team with a 10.38 ERA.

"You just shake it off and get ready for the next one -- the next one counts," Garza said.

This was his first Spring Training in Arizona, and he probably won't be getting any promotional deals with the tourism office.

"First year in Arizona and it [stinks]," Garza said. "I don't care about the travel, it [stinks] here because it's so dry. I can't wait to get to Chicago where there's more moisture in the air.

"You grab a ball and you feel like you're throwing slime, because it's so slippery and you can't get anything on your fingers -- not enough spit or rosin or nothing, it dries out right away. That's not the reason I threw why I did. ... I feel great and the ball is coming out of my hand the way I like. Hopefully, my luck turns."

In Florida, Garza's spring consisted of throwing, pitchers' fielding practice and going home. This year, he had to add hitting now that he's in the National League with the Cubs.

"The first week I couldn't throw a baseball because my thumb hurt so bad from bunting so much," Garza said. "Physically, I feel great. Pitching wise, everything felt where I needed to be."

The right-hander served up four singles in the D-backs first, including an RBI single by Miguel Montero, but also struck out the side that inning.

Arizona's Joe Saunders, who will start the third game of the regular season, gave up eight runs -- five earned -- on six hits and four walks over 3 2/3 innings.

The Cubs had runners at second and third with two outs in the second, when Tyler Colvin lofted the ball toward the gap in left-center, but Pollock made a great running catch to end the inning.

Garza struck out Montero to open the third but gave up back-to-back singles to Nady and Ryan Wheeler before Winfree launched the first pitch over the left-field fence for his first spring home run and a 4-0 lead.

Reed Johnson was hit by a pitch with one out in the Chicago third and reached third on Starlin Castro's double. Jeff Baker and Aramis Ramirez each followed with RBI singles to close to 4-2. Geovany Soto singled, and Carlos Pena followed with a three-run double to left to go ahead, 5-4. Baker added an RBI single in the fourth.

Chicago ended Cactus League play under manager Mike Quade with a 14-19 record. Arizona finished with a 12-25 mark.

Cubs up next: The Cubs are finished with Cactus League play but have one more game in Arizona on Wednesday, when they face an All-Star lineup of their Minor Leaguers. The game will start at 1:05 p.m. CT (11:05 a.m. MST) at HoHoKam Park, and proceeds will go to Chicago Cubs Charities. Randy Wells, the Cubs' fourth starter, will get his final tuneup for the regular season and start for the big league team. The regulars are expected to play four to five innings and then will be replaced by others in the Cubs organization.

D-backs up next: The split-squad D-backs play host to the Monterrey Sultanes of the Mexican League on Tuesday night at 6:40 p.m. MST at Chase Field. Charles Brewer will get the start for Arizona. The right-hander, who was the D-backs 12-round selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft split time between Class A affiliates South Bend and Visalia.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }