- Associated Press - Saturday, March 12, 2016

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Dexter Fowler hit his second spring homer and Jason Hammel pitched four scoreless innings, leading a split-squad of Chicago Cubs to a 9-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

Fowler reached three times and made a circus catch in center field.

Hammel allowed two hits, struck out four and walked none. The right-hander said he put in a lot of work on his lower body in the offseason.

“That was what felt the most today,” he said. “I was actually delivering the pitch with my legs not with my arm.”

Avisail Garcia homered for the White Sox. Erik Johnson allowed five runs and seven hits in three innings.

Fowler singled and scored on Anthony Rizzo’s two-run single in the first. He went deep in the second and made a diving catch on a sinking liner in the fourth. He was hit by a pitch in the fifth.


White Sox: Johnson also was roughed up in his first spring start. His Cactus League ERA is up to 13.50.

He said he accomplished his goal, which was to use all his pitches and “just to be aggressive in the zone.”

The 26-year-old Johnson went 3-1 with a 3.34 ERA in six starts with Chicago late last season.

Cubs: Hammel is off to a solid start so far this spring. He said he is staying on top of the ball better when he releases it, which gives his fastball more life.


White Sox: RHP Jake Petricka was hit in the shoulder with a line drive in the fifth inning and left the game. “He got hit, and that is enough for me to get him out of there,” manager Robin Ventura said.

Cubs: OF Shane Victorino, who was scratched from Friday’s lineup with tightness in his right calf, said he hopes to be able to serve as the designated hitter on Monday. … C/OF Kyle Schwarber (sore left knee) is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday.


White Sox: LHP John Danks is expected to pitch when the White Sox host the Diamondbacks in Glendale on Sunday.

Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs visit the Athletics in Mesa on Sunday.


Second-year Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he enjoys the rivalry with the White Sox and even has fun with his interactions with fans of the AL team.

“They give me a bad time,” he said. “But they’re always respectful.”

Maddon was involved in the Dodgers-Angels rivalry in Southern California. And then there was Tampa Bay’s rivalry with the Miami Marlins . that he said wasn’t really much of a rivalry.

“That was contrived,” Maddon said. “This is legit.”

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