MESA, Ariz. – Ryan Vogelsong has one more spring start before taking his turn in San Francisco’s starting rotation early next month when the regular season opens.
The right-hander appears ready for the season to start now after working six strong innings to help lead the Giants to a 9-3 win over the Cubs on Monday.
Vogelsong’s only goal in his last start before the season Saturday in Oakland is simple: “Don’t get hurt,” he said. “Don’t take a line drive back off of something.”
Andres Torres and Joaquin Arias hit two-run doubles, Angel Pagan drove in two runs and Buster Posey had three hits, including a two-out bloop double to drive in Vogelsong in the fourth.
“I still have one more (start), which I’m not going to complain about,” Vogelsong said. “But if I didn’t have one more, I would be fine, too.”
George Kontos, Javier Lopez and closer Sergio Romo each pitched a scoreless inning in relief of Vogelsong.
Travis Wood, whose place in the Cubs’ starting rotation is set, struggled for the first time this spring. Wood, a left-hander who went 6-13 for the Cubs last season, allowed four runs on seven hits and threw two wild pitches in his four-inning outing.
“One of those days where it was a grind at best,” Wood said. “I didn’t have anywhere close to my best stuff. It’s nice knowing you have one more (start) instead of just straight into the season, but even a day like this is kind of nice, that way going into the season you know how it felt.”
The Cubs got a run in the third off Vogelsong on a single, sacrifice and a double by David DeJesus that Pagan lost in the sun and allowed to drop in center field.
The Cubs loaded the bases in the fourth, but third baseman Nick Noonan made a diving stop of a grounder hit by Alberto Gonzalez and threw him out to end the inning. Noonan, making a late push for a major-league roster spot, also doubled twice and scored twice.
Dioner Navarro hit a towering home run to right field off Vogelsong in the sixth. His 14 RBIs lead the Cubs in spring training.
Reliever Cory Wade allowed four runs on four hits in two innings, but Shawn Camp came on and struck out the side for the Cubs in the eighth inning.
Notes: Cubs Opening Day starter Jeff Samardzija makes his last start of spring training today against Cincinnati. RHP Scott Feldman, another starter who will be in the regular-season rotation, gets the call Wednesday against Kansas City.
Shawon Dunston, a former Cub and current Giants instructor, and his son Shawon Dunston Jr., a minor-league prospect in the Cubs’ organization, exchanged the lineup cards before the game and shared an embrace at home plate. The younger Dunston was added to the Cubs’ roster for the game and came on in center field in the sixth inning. He went 1 for 2, and the elder Dunston wiped tears from his eyes after the game as the two posed for photos.
The announced attendance of 13,374 was the third-highest ever for a Cubs game at HoHoKam Park.