Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Baseball Notebook

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Baseball Notebook

Article excerpt

Dodgers' Beckett leaves game with sore thumb

Josh Beckett pitched three scoreless innings Friday before having to leave the game with soreness in his right thumb as the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Chicago Cubs 5-4 in Mesa, Ariz.

Beckett, expected to be in the Dodgers' rotation, allowed only an infield single to Emilio Bonifacio while walking two and striking out one. He planned to go four innings but left after three when the thumb, which he accidentally jammed in a door last week, began bothering him.

Cubs prospect Kyle Hendricks blanked the Dodgers for three innings. Hendricks allowed just an infield single by Dee Gordon, while walking one and striking out four.

Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer for the Cubs. Drew Butera hit a solo homer for the Dodgers.

The game drew an overflow crowd of 15,191, another Cactus League attendance record at Cubs' Park.

Samardzija to start opener for Cubs * Jeff Samardzija will start opening day for the Chicago Cubs on March 31 at the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cubs announced Friday.

The righthander struck out 214 last season in 213 2/3 innings but had a 4.34 ERA and an 8-13 record.

Travis Wood will pitch the second game April 2, and Edwin Jackson will pitch the third game April 3.

Pirates send down top prospect * Outfielder Gregory Polanco, considered the Pittsburgh Pirates' top prospect, was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis along with righthanded reliever Duke Welker.

Polanco hit .273 (six for 22) with two doubles and one home run this spring. Last season, he batted a combined .285 with 12 homers and 38 stolen bases in 127 games with Indianapolis, Double-A Altoona and Class A Bradenton.

Welker struggled throughout the exhibition season, giving up six runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings for a 10.13 ERA. He walked five and struck out four. He made his major league debut last season with a pair of relief appearances.

Perkins, Twins agree to deal * Closer Glen Perkins and the Minnesota Twins have agreed to a four-year contract that guarantees the pitcher $22,175,000.

Perkins had been due $4,975,000 this year and $3.75 million in 2015 under his previous deal, which included a $4. …

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