GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Arismendy Alcantara's two-run homer in the seventh inning, one of four long balls hit by the Cubs, snapped a tie ballgame and sent the North Siders to a 10-7 victory over the White Sox on Friday at Camelback Ranch.
David Ross, Taylor Teagarden and Anthony Giansanti also went deep for the Cubs in the first of two spring meetings between the intracity rivals.
The soldout crowd at Camelback Ranch hardly had any time to settle in before the White Sox took early control. Cubs starter Travis Wood struck out Adam Eaton, whose five-year, $23.5 million extension with the White Sox was announced during the game, before the White Sox strung together five straight hits to score three runs.
A two-run homer from Ross in the second off of Hector Noesi brought the Cubs to within one. Junior Lake's two-run double in the sixth tied the game, and Lake scored on a wild pitch to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead. Micah Johnson then tied it back up with a run-scoring single in the sixth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Noesi pitches into the fifth: Hector Noesi had another strong Cactus League outing by allowing just two runs on two hits over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one. The right-hander is set as a part of the White Sox rotation, whether he falls in the third or fourth slot at the start, with Chris Sale out of action for a short timein April.
Sorting things out: Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson are battling for the one opening in the rotation, but the Cubs are trying to come up with a creative way to keep both.
"There's different ways to utilize both of them," manager Joe Maddon said Friday. "It's hard to say they're both starters, but we've talked about different ways to make it fit."
Maddon didn't want to go into details but one option could be having Wood or Jackson start, with the other in the bullpen as a long man, depending on the opponent. Then, they could reverse roles.
"I'm in a real listening mode right now," Maddon said.
Wood served up two runs on 11 hits over 4 1/3 innings against the White Sox, striking out two.
Abreu running on all cylinders: With one out in the third inning, third-base coach Joe McEwing decided to send Abreu home from second on Garcia's single to center. The throw from Albert Almora was on target but a bit up the third-base line, and Abreu was able to maneuver around catcher David Ross and score with a hand tag. Sending Abreu last Spring Training never would have happened, but his ankle problems seem to be a thing of the past.
Center of attention: With Matt Szczur sidelined with a sore left ankle, Albert Almora has gotten more playing time in center field, and he's taking advantage of it. Almora singled in the second, showed his speed on an infield single in the sixth, and also made a nice running catch of Adam Eaton's fly ball to end the fourth.
"If Jeff pitches against us, it'll be something. I guess we'll tackle that when we get there." -- Wood, on how the crosstown series could become a little more intense if Samardzija faced his former team.
"You can't tell anybody about it because of the confidentiality of the contract. I'm a guy that if I buy you a Christmas present in November, you're getting it in November. You're not getting it at Christmas." -- Eaton, on the stress felt during the negotiations dealing with his five-year, $23.5 million deal announced Friday.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Although he didn't pitch on Friday, Jeff Samardzija is in line to do something special in the pantheon of Chicago baseball. Samardzija would join Jaime Navarro as the only pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for both the Cubs and the White Sox if he gets the 2015 call in Kansas City. Navarro started Opening Day for the Cubs in 1996 and for the White Sox in 1997 and 1998.
Ross hit his first home run with the Cubs on Friday, belting a two-run shot in the second inning, one day after celebrating his 38th birthday. Ross' first big league blast had a Cubs connection as he homered off former Cubs first baseman Mark Grace, who was pitching in the ninth inning for the D-backs on Sept. 2, 2002.
For the Cubs, Eric Jokisch will start in place of Jon Lester, who was scratched as a precautionary measure because he's going through a "dead arm phase," manager Joe Maddon said. Jokisch was the Cubs' 11th-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, and made his Major League debut last year, appearing in four games, including one start. Kris Bryant is expected to return to the lineup after not playing in the field since March 12 because of fatigue in his right shoulder. Saturday's game will be broadcast on Gameday Audio, starting at 3:05 p.m. CT.
Brad Penny gets another start for the White Sox, as they take on the Royals at Camelback Ranch on Saturday with a 3:05 p.m. CT first pitch, live on MLB.TV. Penny is trying to earn the fifth-starter's spot, a rotation opening left by Chris Sale's injury. Carlos Rodon and David Robertson also are scheduled to work in relief.