SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rich Harden returned to the mound for the first time since March 15 because of food poisoning and gave up three homers and five runs in the Chicago Cubs' 8-8, 10-inning tie with the Kansas City Royals on Monday.
Milton Bradley went 4-for-4 with a walk for the Cubs, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. He is 19-for-31, a .613 average, during the streak.Harden gave up four hits in 4 2-3 innings while walking two and striking out four."I'm feeling good and got my strength back," Harden said. "I threw 80 pitches and was still feeling just as strong at the end of it, which is good. We'll extend it a little more next time. My body is as strong as it's going to be. I'm ready to go."Harden lost seven pounds after eating tainted chicken salad."I'm starting to put some weight back on," he said. "I'm still down a couple of pounds, but that's it. I'm definitely feeling a whole lot stronger now and it's back to normal, back to where I was before. My shoulder is feeling really strong, which is good."Harden's next start will be Saturday at the new Yankee Stadium in the Cubs' final exhibition game."It's going to be nice being in Yankee Stadium, a big game like that," Harden said. "It will be like regular season. It will be packed there."Kansas City's Alex Gordon hit a pair of home runs -- a two-run shot in the second and a leadoff homer in the fifth -- off Harden. Mark Teahen hit his sixth home run in the fourth.Right-hander Kyle Davies, who will start Kansas City's third game of the season, yielded four runs and eight hits, while walking one and striking out three."I thought I made good pitches when I had to," Davies said. "I was behind in the count a lot, probably 10 of the first 15 batters. "I can't pitch like that during the season. I kept the ball in the ballpark, walked only one. It wasn't as efficient as I wanted to, but you're going to have days."With runners on second and third and none out in the fifth, Davies retired Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome on infield popups before Micah Hoffpauir delivered a two-run single."I got the two easy popups," Davies said. "The next guy Miguel (Olivo, catcher) wanted the curveball in the dirt and I didn't get it down there far enough. I hung it a little bit and the guy got a base hit."Fukudome homered in the Cubs' three-run ninth off Royals closer Joakim Soria to it.
The Cubs released C Paul Bako, who was hitting .364 in 15 exhibition games, and LHP Mike Stanton, who had a 6.48 ERA in 10 appearances. Bako had played with 10 different teams and has a .231 average in 11 years in the majors. He will receive $178,279 of termination pay. Stanton is 68-63 a 3.92 ERA, but has not pitched in the majors since 2007 with Cincinnati. The moves leave the Cubs with 28 players in camp. Koyie Hill will be the backup catcher with Bako's release. ... Kansas City leads all AL clubs in spring training with 49 homers. ... The Royals have played four tie games this spring training.