- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Jeff Samardzija struggled with his command at times in a three-inning outing Wednesday in a Colorado Rockies split-squad’s 7-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

The Cubs‘ possible opening-day starter gave up two straight singles then, after a sacrifice bunt, hit a batter and walked the next in a rocky two-run third inning. In three innings, he gave up three runs and four hits.

“My arm is really coming along. It feels strong,” Samardzija said. “I felt better in the third than in the beginning. The pitches were good. A few pitches were up, which got me in trouble. … But I felt really good.”

Samardzija said he is working on his repertoire of pitches, except for his splitter, which he is saving for later in March.

“The split essentially is just a fastball with a different grip. It’s a good time for me to concentrate on my combination of other pitches,” he said. “I just want to come out and establish my other pitches and really work on pounding the zone. We did that today. A couple hits fell and got through.”

Rockies projected starter Tyler Chatwood gave up one unearned run in 2 2-3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.

The Rockies committed three errors behind Chatwood, who gave up only one hit.

Javier Baez, rated the No. 5 prospect by Baseball America, and George Kottaras connected for back-to-back homers in the sixth off the Rockies‘ Chris Martin.

STARTING TIME

Rockies: Chatwood gave up only one hit in his first spring start. He is coming back from offseason surgery to remove a bone chip from his pitching elbow. He was a pleasant surprise last season, going 8-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 111 1-3 innings.

“I felt 100 percent,” Chatwood said after his start. “I haven’t had any setbacks since I had the procedure done.

“A good outing for him,” manager Walt Weiss said. “It’s been smooth sailing. He hasn’t had any issues.”

CUDDYER DRILLED

Samardzija hit the Rockies‘ Michael Cuddyer in the left shoulder. The outfielder indicated he might miss a few days.

“It’s a weird thing, Samardzija said. “All my pitches down and in to righties were so good. … I was looking for a good one there. Hopefully he’s OK. He’s a heck of a hitter.”

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