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Coats, Pie propel Cubs past Padres

Coats, Pie propel Cubs past Padres

Cubs 8, Padres 6
at Peoria, Ariz.
Thursday, March 8

Padres at the plate: Terrmel Sledge continued his hot spring with his third home run, a grand slam in the fourth inning that tied the game at 5. He's hitting .400 this spring with seven RBIs. Josh Bard had two hits, including a double to center field. Geoff Blum also had two hits, including his first home run of the spring.

Cubs at the plate: Buck Coats had three hits to raise his spring average to .438. Felix Pie and Cesar Izturis each had two hits for the Cubs, with Pie driving in two runs. Daryle Ward had a solo home run in the seventh inning to put Chicago on top for good.

Padres on the mound: Starter Greg Maddux had better command than in his last start, as he didn't walk a single batter in his three innings. Maddux did allow two runs on five hits. Cla Meredith, Scott Linebrink and Scott Strickland tossed scoreless innings. Closer Trevor Hoffman allowed Ward's home run in the seventh inning.

Cubs on the mound: Starter Wade Miller allowed six hits and two walks in three innings, but only managed to allowed one run. Kerry Wood allowed four runs on two hits, including Sledge's grand slam. Jason Anderson was impressive with two shutout innings. Rocky Cherry earned his second save by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

Cactus League records: Padres 3-4; Cubs 4-3-1.

Up next: San Diego plays split-squad games on Friday, with one team going to Tempe to face the Angels at 2:05 p.m. CT. Veteran left-hander David Wells makes his Cactus League debut in that game. In the other game, the Padres travel to Mesa to face the Cubs at 2:05 p.m. Jake Peavy makes his third Cactus League start and will go either three or four innings.

The Cubs will send Rich Hill to the mound against the Friars, with Neal Cotts slated to start another split-squad game in Surprise against Texas.

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