Final

Cubs 3

(13-11, 5-7 away)

Giants 2

(12-14, 6-6 home)

4:05 PM ET, March 24, 2007

Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale, Arizona 

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CHC 010001010 3 - -
SF 000000020 2 - -

Cubs 3, Giants 2

Associated Press

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- One Barry looked great, the other not so good. Neither cared too much about their results.

Barry Zito pitched four sharp innings on short rest and Barry Bonds was 0-for-3 with two called strikeouts in the San Francisco Giants' 3-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.

Zito worked on three days' rest after throwing in a minor league game against an Angels Class-A team Tuesday. This way, he is set up to pitch Thursday's exhibition game back home against the Seattle Mariners before taking the mound opening day April 2 to face the San Diego Padres.

"I felt pretty strong on three days' rest," Zito said.

As for spring training, this has been a good one for the $126 million left-hander -- whose springs with the Oakland Athletics were rarely outstanding. Zito is pleased his pitch count is up where it should be before the season starts and that he has found a comfort level with his new team.

"It's just a different vibe dealing with a different team this spring," Zito said. "I'm a little more focused on getting my pitching on and getting it ready."

Bonds, too, seems eager to get the season started and resume his chase of Hank Aaron's home run record, saying "only a few days left."

He's not sure whether he will stay in the No. 3 hole, where manager Bruce Bochy has been batting him most of the spring, but isn't concerned.

"I'm fine with it," Bonds said. "I've been there before. Whatever, dog, I'm cool with that."

The 42-year-old Bonds struck out looking to end the first and briefly argued with plate umpire Doug Eddings, then was retired on a called third strike again in the fourth and let Eddings have it again.

"It was fun," Bonds said afterward, laughing in the clubhouse. "I've never evaluated my springs."

He made an athletic catch in foul territory in the fourth on a hard-hit ball by Aramis Ramirez, who led off the second with a homer against Zito. Bonds lined out to a shifted shortstop in the seventh.

In recent years, Bonds knows he wouldn't have fielded Ramirez's ball cleanly because of his tender right knee, which underwent three operations in 2005.

"I couldn't," he said.

Cliff Floyd played right field for Chicago because of the spacious ground to cover in left, where the sun can also be trouble. He is slated to be the designated hitter in Sunday's home game against the Los Angeles Angels, who agreed to use the DH in a National League park.

Cubs starter Wade Miller threw 66 pitches in five strong innings. He allowed three hits, struck out five and didn't walk a batter. While manager Lou Piniella was hoping Miller would throw 85-90 pitches, it was still a solid outing.

Miller thinks he did enough to earn the fifth starter's job, which will be announced Wednesday. It's Miller's spot to lose.

"That was a good day," he said. "That was probably the best I felt as far as mechanically and being able to throw the ball over the plate."

Bochy's mother, Melrose, died Friday night, and the manager will spend a few days away from the club early in the week for her memorial in Florida. He is scheduled to leave Arizona after Sunday's game.

Piniella spoke Saturday to Kerry Wood a day after he pitched in a spring training game for the first time in 12 days and threw a scoreless inning against the Giants.

Wood missed time with a strained right triceps.

"I had a nice conversation with Woody," Piniella said. "He feels good. He felt as I did that he threw the ball very well yesterday. I told him to make sure he's ready when the season starts. We want Woody pitching for us for a long time. There's no use rushing."

Game notes


Giants CF Dave Roberts, nursing a sprained ligament in his right clavicle area, planned to return to hitting Sunday after being limited to running and defensive work. "It's much better," he said. "But I've got to err on the side of caution." ... San Francisco 2B Ray Durham, out with a mild right hamstring strain, said he is feeling "good" and gave a thumbs-up sign. ... Piniella has five candidates to be his No. 2 hitter depending on the situation and starting pitcher. "I don't know if we'll settle on one guy by April 1," said Piniella, who did note the club will make all its major roster decisions by Thursday, before a pair of exhibition games against Seattle in Las Vegas next weekend. ... Mark Sweeney, on the bubble to make the Giants, hit his first home run of the spring and had a double.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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