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Prospect Baez rips first spring homer, drives in three


MESA, Ariz. -- Carlos Gomez hit a solo home run and Blake Lalli added an RBI double to back starter Marco Estrada and lead the Brewers to a 4-3 victory Sunday over the Cubs, who were playing a split-squad game.

Estrada, who will pitch for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic starting this week, threw four shutout innings, giving up one hit and walking two. He's the first Brewers starter to go four innings this spring.

Milwaukee loaded the bases with one out in the first against Chicago starter Edwin Jackson, who then walked Logan Schafer to force in a run. Taylor Green added an RBI single. Jackson was pulled after two innings, giving up two hits and walking three.

In the second, Jackson walked Kentrail Davis and one out later, Jean Segura was safe on a throwing error by Jackson, who fielded the ball, then threw it high into the air and into center field.

"I think I was throwing to a ghost man out there," Jackson said.

What happened?

"I was trying not to throw it, trying to hold it," Jackson said. "I tried to hold it, hold it, and it was too late. Get all the jitters out now."

Gomez led off the third with his home run off Drew Carpenter, and one out later, Green doubled and then scored on Lalli's double off the left-field wall.

Javier Baez, one of the Cubs' top prospects, hit his first spring home run with one out and one on in the fifth, driving in Brett Jackson, who had walked. Chicago then loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth against Kelvim Escobar, who had to leave the game because of an issue with his throwing hand. Michael Olmsted walked Baez to force in a run.

Cubs up next: Right-hander Alberto Cabrera will make his first Cactus League start on Monday at 2:05 p.m. CT when the Cubs host the Indians at HoHoKam Stadium. With Matt Garza not expected to be ready for the first month of the season and Scott Baker sidelined until mid-April, the Cubs need to get a good look at other pitchers for the bullpen spots. Cabrera, who appeared in 25 games in relief last season, could be one.

Nelson will start at first base as Anthony Rizzo joins Team Italy for the World Baseball Classic. Jorge Soler will be the designated hitter and Steve Clevenger, who could win a job as a utility player, will start at catcher. The game will be broadcast free on an exclusive audio webcast on cubs.com.

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.

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{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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