Angels, Cubs get solid starts in spring finale

Angels, Cubs get solid starts in spring finale

ANAHEIM -- Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant homered and both starters, Matt Shoemaker and Kyle Hendricks, turned in solid outings as the Angels rallied to beat the Cubs, 6-4, at Angel Stadium on Sunday, the final exhibition contest for both clubs.

The Angels and Cubs open the regular season Monday at Angel Stadium.

Trailing by two in the eighth, the Angels plated four runs, all with two outs, off Starling Peralta and Stephen Perakslis. Shortstop prospect David Fletcher hit a two-run single and Gregorio Petit did the same on a grounder that never left the infield, paving the way for Javy Guerra to close it out in the ninth.

Petit's two-run single

Russell hit a solo homer to straightaway center field in the third and Rizzo blasted his own deep into the right-field bleachers in the fourth. But Shoemaker gave up only two other baserunners and struck out four in five innings, an encouraging finish to what was otherwise a rough spring for the 29-year-old right-hander.

Shoemaker enters the season as the No. 5 starter, as does Hendricks, who gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits and no walks in five innings, striking out seven.

Hendricks' five strong innings

"Matt is where he needs to be," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "There's no doubt, getting out of Arizona, that his stuff is crisper."

The Angels -- without Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Andrelton Simmons or Yunel Escobar -- scored on a sacrifice fly by Todd Cunningham in the second and got a fourth-inning RBI single by Cliff Pennington to tie the game at 2. In the sixth, lefty reliever Lucas Luetge, who will open the season in Triple-A, served up a two-run shot to straightaway center field to Bryant, his second of the spring and his first since March 8.

Pennington's RBI single

Russell finished the spring with a team-leading six homers, while Rizzo notched four.

Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler played for the first time since last Sunday, a game he exited with tightness in his left side, and went 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Fowler was one of several Cubs who had never played a game in Anaheim and felt it was important to get a feel for the ballpark before Opening Day.

Said Fowler: "Getting up to the plate for the first time here will be better than [Monday] for the first time."

Angels up next: Spring Training is officially over. The Angels will host the Cubs for a season-opening two-game series, starting with Opening Day at 7:05 p.m. PT on Monday on ESPN2. Garrett Richards will make his first start in a season opener, breaking Jered Weaver's streak of six consecutive Opening Day starts. Richards recovered from major knee surgery to win 15 games, post a 3.65 ERA and compile 207 1/3 innings last season.  

Cubs up next: Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta will get the season started for real Monday at 9:05 p.m. CT when the Cubs face the Angels. It's the first time the Cubs will open the regular season against an American League opponent. This is Arrieta's second career Opening Day start; he also did so for the Orioles on April 6, 2012.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.